New UBC study focuses on improving wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic

The science of happiness

Researchers are recruiting participants for a new University of British Columbia study focusing on wellbeing and happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The free ENHANCE program, administered by UBC in partnership with healthcare software company Thrive Health, will unpack the impact of COVID-19 on overall wellbeing, life satisfaction and positive feelings.

This includes public health measures associated with the pandemic, such as social distancing, quarantine and self-isolation. 

The ENHANCE program provides participants with daily cognitive and behavioural exercises, as well as tutorials and guidance from the study authors, to help implement skills to improve happiness and wellbeing within the context of a global pandemic.

Led by UBC director of clinical training and psychology professor Dr. Lesley Lutes, the study based on extensive psychology research guides participants through regular goal setting using a small-changes approach.

“COVID-19 has created stressors and challenged the mental health of many across the globe as they struggle with the loss of income, loss of social connection and generalized fear around the risks associated with visiting physical spaces. What we often don’t realize is that tensions, such as these, are bi-directionally correlated with our physical health,” says Lutes.

“Research has proven that our physical health impacts our mental health or emotional well-being and our well-being or mental health impacts our physical health.” 

The clinical trial will be hosted on the Thrive Health platform, before being released for the general public in 2021.

“At Thrive Health we believe that our healthcare system needs to not only treat illnesses, but to help people to thrive. This project will measure how well the Thrive Health platform is able to improve people’s level of well-being, which is an important part of why we’re here," says Thrive Health CEO David Helliwell.

“Whether someone is managing their chronic pain, preparing for surgery, experiencing a challenging pregnancy, or just living through a pandemic, the Thrive platform not only helps them manage their physical health but also monitors and assists with their overall well-being and happiness.”

If you're a resident of British Columbia, aged 19 to 75 years old and interested in signing up, visit the website to register by Friday, Oct. 23. 

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