She’s Healthy and Empowered: Optimizing Social Network and Improving Health




Velarde, Elizabeth
Chhetri, Shlesma
Cantu Anguiano, Katherine
Spence-Almaguer, Emily


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Purpose: Developed through community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, SHE Tribe aims to promote healthy lifestyles among women. The program encourages women to utilize their supportive social networks and work towards making meaningful behavior changes through five program gatherings. During each gathering, a peer facilitator motivates their tribe to set individual goals, do actions needed to achieve those goals, and reflect on factors that may aid or hinder successful completion of those goals. The purpose of this study was to assess changes in the overall well-being of SHE Tribe participants. Methods: Participants were asked to complete a baseline assessment before commencing the program followed by a post-assessment upon completion. The questions included in the assessment package were utilized to generate customized feedback on five health domains: me (general well-being), mind (mental health), matter (what we consume), move (physical activity), and meet (social support). To standardize the measurements, the total score for each domain was converted into a 100-point scale. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess change in the respective areas of health before and after participants’ enrollment in the program. Results: A total of 39 women have enrolled in the program. Among 29 women with complete pre-post data, 93% showed improvement in at least one of the five domains. Additionally, 90% displayed progress in two or more domains and 55% enhanced more than three areas of their health. Paired t-tests showed significant improvement in areas such as me, mind, move, and matter (p meet category as well. However, the change was not statistically significant. Conclusions: SHE Tribe participants showed improvement in several areas of health. This study highlights the success of a social network based peer-led model in empowering women and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Furthermore, programs fostering intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy such as SHE Tribe show promise with improving health.