Current developments in health and wellness coaching
Health coaching is experiencing a new surge period with growth in achievements, publications and integration into healthcare. Its role is increasing in healthcare as well as in employee wellness programs and community settings, particularly as healthcare is undergoing fundamental changes. These developments are the focus of our May Coaching Report and the IOC Webinar this month.
An important milestone for health coaching practice was the launch of the first national certification process for professional health and wellness coaches in April 2015, by The National Consortium for Credentialing of Health & Wellness Coaches (NCCHWC). A year later, in May 2016, the NCCHWC formed a partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to formalize this certification. The NBME has been the key body for credentialing health professionals including physicians for over a century. Thus, the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination was launched in the beginning of 2017 and is now available on a regular basis. A founding Co-director of the IOC, Margaret Moore, is on the National Board for Certifying Health and Wellness Coaches, and has been a driving force in this process. Ruth Wolever, PhD is also a member of the National Board for Certifying Health and Wellness Coaches as well as Director of Vanderbilt University Health Coaching: Research, Practice & Education. Ruth will be one of the presenters at the IOC May Webinar and will tell us more about the certification process.
In the research arena, we have witnessed a significant rise in the number, diversity and rigor of studies and publications in health coaching. Hundreds of journal articles, as well as several key, high quality systematic reviews, have been published in the last several years. Most of these are effectiveness studies, which compare coaching impacts before and after interventions or between intervention and control groups. While focus has been on the immediate impacts of coaching, research is now being directed at the long-term outcomes, both in the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions. Initial conclusions about long-term sustainability of the effects of health coaching are illustrated below in the article from the journal “Patient Education and Counseling” titled, “Long-term effectiveness of health coaching in rehabilitation and prevention: A systematic review”1. You can also keep an eye out for an article which will be coming out soon in “American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine” - a review and compendium2 of 150 empirical articles which were selected according to the definition of health and wellness coaching as proposed by Wolever, Simmons and Sforzo (2013)3. The first author of this upcoming article, Gary Sforzo, PhD will be the other presenter in the IOC May Webinar. Gary will discuss his own research, other current research, and the conclusions from this important compendium of health coaching literature.
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