Improvements in Health Behaviors, Eating Self-Efficacy, and Goal-Setting Skills Following Participation in Wellness Coaching

Am J Health Promot. 2016 Jul 1;30(6):458-464. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.140627-QUAL-304. Epub 2015 Aug 25.


Purpose . This project examined potential changes in health behaviors following wellness coaching. Design . In a single cohort study design, wellness coaching participants were recruited in 2011, data were collected through July 2012, and were analyzed through December 2013. Items in the study questionnaire used requested information about 11 health behaviors, self-efficacy for eating, and goal-setting skills. Setting . Worksite wellness center. Participants . One-hundred employee wellness center members with an average age of 42 years; 90% were female and most were overweight or obese. Intervention . Twelve weeks of in-person, one-on-one wellness coaching. Method . Participants completed study questionnaires when they started wellness coaching (baseline), after 12 weeks of wellness coaching, and at a 3-month follow-up. Results . From baseline to week 12, these 100 wellness coaching participants improved their self-reported health behaviors (11 domains, 0- to 10-point scale) from an average of 6.4 to 7.7 (p < .001), eating self-efficacy from an average of 112 to 142 (on a 0- to 180-point scale; p < .001), and goal-setting skills from an average of 49 to 55 (on a 16- to 80-point scale; p < .001). Conclusion . These results suggest that participants improved their current health behaviors and learned skills for continued healthy living. Future studies that use randomized controlled trials are needed to establish causality for wellness coaching.

Keywords: Behavioral Medicine; Depression; Health Promotion; Health focus: medical self-care; Manuscript format: research; Outcome measure: behavioral; Prevention Research; Quality of Life; Research purpose: intervention testing/program evaluation; Setting: workplace; Strategy: skill building/behavior change; Stress; Study design: qualitative; Target population age: adults; Target population circumstances: geographic location; Wellness Coaching.