Date of Publication


Project Team

Carr, Jeanine; O'Meara, Amy



Poverty is a major health barrier in the United States which disproportionately affects women, who earn lower wages than men and are often single mothers responsible for the care and wellbeing of their families. Chronic socioeconomic depression is a cyclic, multigenerational problem that can make it difficult for women to adequately engage in healthy behaviors such as eating well and exercising. Poor self-care practices can in turn lead to cycle of poor health outcomes across the board, including depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more. Poor health may subsequently pose a challenge for women trying to find the energy to devote to a career that could potentially break the harmful cycle of poverty.

The purpose of this project was to develop an educational module to be included in ongoing curriculum for students enrolled in Vermont Works for Women’s Step In to Work program on nutrition and exercise, using techniques of SMART goal setting and motivational interview to effect empowerment and lasting healthy behavior changes. This educational intervention consisted of a 90 minute PowerPoint presentation and didactic lecture interspersed with group discussion, followed by a 30 minute individual goal setting activity and final goal-based discussion. Participants’ perception of their knowledge relating to nutrition and exercise was measured using a pre- and post-survey, which showed overall improvement. Furthermore, all participants were able to create a SMART goal by the end of this module and most felt confident that they would be able to make the necessary changes to achieve their goal.

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons