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2011-12 Academic Year
New Sisters Fund Grant Awarded to Prof. Janis Miller and Jane Hassinger Team to Study "Gender-based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo"
Ann Arbor – October, 2011—Prof. Janis Miller and Jane Hassinger have received a Sisters Fund grant from the University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Women & Gender for their proposal, "Gender-based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Landscape Analysis and Stakeholder Consultation."
The Miller-Hassinger proposal was inspired by U-M Wallenberg Medal winner Dr. Denis Mukwege, who held an honorary lectureship at the university in fall, 2010. Dr. Mukwege, who has treated more than 30,000 rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), challenged the university to help end the ongoing, brutal, and systematic use of rape as a tool of war in the DRC, and to apply its collective expertise to develop interventions for the medical, psychological, and social needs of victims. In response, a multidisciplinary team from the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Business, and Social Work was created.
The Miller-Hassinger team of U-M researchers, supported by the Sisters Fund, will make a two-week exploratory trip to the DRC to collect data and make recommendations to the larger committee. The interdisciplinary team will travel to the DRC cities of Kinshasa, Goma, and Bukavu. The group will meet with collaborators from USAID, HEAL Africa, and Dr. Mukwege's Panzi Hospital. The long-term goal is to improve the quality of care for women, particularly rape victims, at the hospital level and/or improve the quality of life for the community. In the short-term, the team will begin to develop sustaining relationships and firsthand knowledge of the DRC and its people.
The Sisters Fund grant will make travel possible for Dr. Paul Clyde (Ross School of Business), Jane Hassinger (Women's Studies and IRWG), Prof. Janis Miller (Nursing), and Lisa Peters (Center for Global Health). Dr. Clyde has worked on a variety of business model issues with health care institutions in a number of countries around the world including India, China, Rwanda, Uganda, and Honduras. Ms. Hassinger will conduct interviews; she is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst whose research in Ghana, Rwanda, and South Africa has focused on coping strategies for women suffering from abuse and trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and women's psychological and economic development. Prof. Miller, an expert in childbirth-related pelvic tissue trauma and its associated symptoms of urinary and fecal incontinence, prolapse, and resulting physical and psychological pain will work closely with HEAL Africa physicians. Lisa Peters will make a preparatory trip to the DRC and conduct interviews in Swahili; she has field experience in Tanzania doing health education projects, girls' empowerment, and small business development.
IRWG fosters collaboration and furthers the research of all U-M faculty members and graduate students who use the lens of women and gender to pursue their studies. The Sisters Fund is an innovative small-grants program that supports U-M faculty research, scholarship, or other creative activities that benefit local and global communities experiencing gender-based health disparities. The fund was established in 2006 with help from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Its first funders were primarily women. To contribute to the Sisters Fund, visit http://irwg.research.umich.edu/join/support.html.
For further information, contact: Debra M. Schwartz, senior public relations representative, email@example.com, 734-647-
Rebranding exercise: “Enhancing daily quality of life” a better message than appealing to longevity
Sept. 19, 2011
Contact: Jared Wadley, (734) 936-7819, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS: To listen to a podcast with Segar, see http://ns.umich.edu/podcast/audio.php?id=1347
Rebranding exercise: "Enhancing daily quality of life" a better message than appealing to longevity
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A new University of Michigan study finds that the most convincing exercise message emphasizes immediate benefits that enhance daily quality of life.
Health care, business and public health have presumed that promoting health and longevity benefits from exercise will motivate people to exercise. The new findings, however, indicate that these individuals exercised less than those who aimed to enhance the quality of their daily lives.
"The study showed that what an individual espouses as important does not necessarily translate into behavior," said Michelle Segar, research investigator for the U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender. "While people say they value health and healthy aging, those distant benefits don't make exercise compelling enough to fit into their busy lives."
These findings challenge the current convention of promoting exercise for better health, longevity, or as medicine.
"Promoting exercise for health is logical, but people's daily decisions are more often connected to emotion than logic," Segar said. "A more effective 'hook' is to rebrand exercise to emphasize the immediate benefits that enrich daily living, such as stress reduction and increased vitality."
Individuals may also appreciate the subsequent benefits that make exercise more personally meaningful, such as being a patient parent, enjoying life, being creative and having focus at work, she says.
"By shifting our model from medicine to marketing, we can improve how we 'sell' exercise to the public by using principles like branding," Segar said.
For example, messages about immediate rewards from exercise that make life more enjoyable, such as "move more, get energy," may better motivate busy individuals than promotions focused on achieving distant and abstract benefits, such as "move more, get healthy."
Segar studied responses from 226 women between the ages of 40 to 60 who worked full time. They completed three surveys during a one-year period. Respondents were asked about their exercise goals and participation, how much they valued their goals, body mass index (BMI) and social support. This study supports other research showing that the reasons why individuals initiate exercise influence their motivation and behavioral sustainability. Segar recommends four steps to rebrand exercise and to improve engagement and participation:
--Assess the specific exercise benefits your organization has been promoting.
--Evaluate the effectiveness of these motives to engage and motivate ongoing participation.
--Ask your target population what values and experiences they most care about achieving in their daily life that exercise benefits would impact, such as reduced stress and improved mood.
--Develop new messaging that addresses these valued end points.
Caroline Richardson, , an associate professor of family medicine at U-M and research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Jacquelynne Eccles, a professor of psychology and education, co-authored the study.
The findings appear in the latest issue of The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Michelle Segar: http://michellesegar.com
Institute for Research on Women and Gender: http://irwg.research.umich.edu # # # # # # [rebrand]