Objective: This systematic review aims to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of health coaching interventions in rehabilitation and prevention.
Methods: Databases and a manual search were used to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in English through to June 2015. Studies were included if: (1) the target population were people of employment age, (2) the intervention addressed either people suffering from a diagnosed disease or healthy people, (3) the intervention included health coaching to influence health-related outcomes and/or processes and (4) the study had a follow-up of at least 24 weeks after the end of the intervention period.
Results: Out of 90 RCTs, 14 studies were selected using the inclusion criteria: seven were designed for the rehabilitative setting and seven for the preventive setting. Three studies of each setting found statistically significant long-term effectiveness.
Conclusions: The high number of studies evaluating health coaching underlines the relevance of this approach. Despite the increasing popularity of health coaching, a research gap exists in regard to its long-term effectiveness.
Practice Implications: It is of utmost importance to consider the sustainability already during planning of health coaching interventions. The involvement of the target group and the setting seems to be a promising strategy.
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