Health Coaching Research
- Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic conditions
- Diabetes management
- Lifestyle interventions in primary care
- Stress management
- Weight Loss
DASH diet shown to reduce blood pressureA randomised controlled trial recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that people with high blood pressure following a specialised diet, known as 'Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension' (DASH), plus low sodium intake, may experience the same or greater reduction in systolic blood pressure as those who take anti-hypertensive medication.
Health coaching to improve hypertension treatment in a low-income, minority populationFamily medicine researchers at the University of California reported that average systolic blood pressure may fall by up to 22mmHG under the care of a trained health coach. Their findings were highlighted in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.
Health coaching may improve health behaviours and self efficacy in those with long term conditionsResearchers at the University of New South Wales conducted a rapid review of 30 studies involving phone/ Skype Health Coaching for adults with one or more of the following chronic conditions: Type 2 Diabetes, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. Their findings, published in Australian Health Review, indicate that telephone coaching for people with chronic conditions may improve health status, health behaviour and self-efficacy.
Positive outcomes from telephone health coaching in those with long-term health conditionsResearchers at Sheffield Hallam University and South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust conducted a review of 34 studies examining the efficacy of telephone coaching in the management of long term conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 94% of the studies reviewed reported favourable outcomes. Their findings were published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.
Physical activity based behavioural interventions associated with improved blood sugar control in Type 2 DiabetesA systematic review published in Diabetes Care reported that behavioural interventions targeting physical activity for patients with Type 2 Diabetes led to clinically significant improvements in HbA1c, a marker of long term blood sugar control.
A pilot study of health and wellness coaching for fibromyalgiaResearchers at the Ohio State University studied a small group of patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology criteria for a diagnosis of primary Fibromyalgia. The patients underwent a 12 month course of health and wellness coaching, comprising regular one-to-one coaching from a healthcare professional with further health coach training, as well as group classes on self-coaching strategies. The subjects reported improvements in quality of life, pain and functional status of 35%, 32% and 44% respectively. Health care utilisation also declined by 86%. These encouraging findings, published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, provide scope for future much needed holistic approaches to complement the medical treatment of Fibromyalgia, as well as providing intial data for the construction of future randomised controlled trials.
Efficacy of internet based coaching for stress managementWomen reporting moderate to high stress levels experienced a significant reduction in 'Perceived Stress Scale' score following participation in an internet based coaching program. The findings, published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, suggest online health coaching may be an effective tool in ongoing stress management.
Innovative solutions for stress management: Digital health coachingA US based descriptive study analysed the characteristics of women seeking a digital health coaching programme for stress management. Their findings, published in the journal Stress and Health, revealed that women of all ages reported feeling uncomfortable asking for help, suggesting flexible modalities such as digital health coaching may reach those who might not otherwise seek help with stress management.
Comparative Effectiveness of Weight Loss Interventions in Clinical PracticeResearchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effects of primary care based behavioural weight-loss interventions involving either in person or remote coaching based support. The study participants were or average age 54, all with BMI falling into the obese range, and all with at least one cardiovascular risk factor. The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that both interventions led to significant improvements in weight versus the control, with over a third losing 5% or more of their body weight, in turn reducing risk of numerous long term lifestyle related conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These encouraging findings provide further scope for increasing the contribution of Health Coaches in Primary Care settings, particularly in the arena of chronic disease risk management and prevention.
Communication-related behaviour change techniques in primary care
A systematic review of randomised controlled trials, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands and Norway, reported overall significant improvement in a variety of health outcomes (including BMI, blood pressure, self reported nutrition, exercise and stress levels, alcohol consumption and smoking habits) following behaviour change techniques used in primary care interventions. The interventions were predominantly delivered by GPs and practice nurses, as well as other allied healthcare professionals including nutritionists, dieticians and physician assistants. Techniques comprised those typically seen in health coaching sessions, including behavioural counselling, motivational interviewing, education and advice. The results, published in the Journal Patient Education and Counselling, provide encouraging data on the potential beneficial role of health coaching in primary care settings for chronic disease prevention.
How Vitamin D may help protect against heart failure following a heart attack
A growing body of research suggests that Vitamin D may play a role in long term heart health. Researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia recently sought to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind these observations. They examined the effect of the active form of vitamin D, known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, on the cells responsible for generation of scar tissue in the heart, known as cardiac colony-forming unit fibroblasts (cCFU-Fs). They observed that Vitamin D was able to block the action of these cells, potentially reducing the accumulation of scar tissue following a heart attack. Their findings are published in the journal Heart, Lung and Circulation.