Research Digest: Volume 3, Issue 3 (2017)

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Research Digest: Volume 3, Issue 3 (2017)
Institute of Coaching Research Digest

We continue to offer the Research Digest to our members and associates. The Research Digest is published by the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School affiliate and is made possible through a generous contribution by Meyler Campbell, who train business leaders to become professional executive coaches. 

The Research Digest highlights selected papers relevant to coaching theory and research that will enhance coaching practices. A lead article is chosen for the theme of each issue and is described and analyzed in detail. Other relevant articles and resources are also referenced. Links are provided to the full articles and, in many cases, the full text is available from our resources for IOC members. 

The Theme for this issue of the Research Digest is Recent Developments in Health Coaching: Diversity of Conditions and Modalities.

Health coaching is experiencing a new surge with growth in achievements, publications and integration into healthcare. Its role is increasing in healthcare, as well as in employee programs and community settings, particularly as healthcare is undergoing fundamental changes.

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 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. Thus, for our focus article we choose Dejonghe et al, (2017), which is a systematic review of sustainability of coaching impact. 

Included also is a very recent review/compendium (Sfrozo et al, 2017) of 150 empirical articles which were selected according to the definition of health and wellness coaching as proposed by Wolever, Simmons and Sforzo (2013); and a meta-analysis of coaching for physical activity (Oliveira et al (2017). We also chose several articles which present the experiences of people participating in health coaching – both as health providers and as patients/employees (Beatty & McGonagle, 2016; Goble et at, 2017; Lindberg et al, 2017). Two of the articles in this issue focus on one of the chronic health conditions, which has shown to be well impacted by coaching:Type 2 diabetes (Sherifali 2017; Sherifali et al, 2016). Finally, two more articles address the newer modalities of provision of health coaching:on-line coaching and an on-line version of coaching/self-management (Bus et al, 2017; Lindberg et al, 2017). 

Two webinars, related to these topics and presented by the authors cited in this Research Digest, are available to IOC members from our resource database: Sforzo and McGonagle (2015) “Improving Wellbeing in the Workplace,” and Sforzo and Wolever (2017), “Recent Research in Health Coaching and Implications for Practice.”


Dejonghe, L. A. L., Becker, J., Froboese, I., & Schaller, A. (2017). Long-term effectiveness of health coaching in rehabilitation and prevention: A systematic review. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(9), 1643-1653. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.04.012 (Full Text available Open Access)

Sforzo, G. A., Kaye, M. P., Todorova, I., Harenberg, S., Costello, K., Cobus-Kuo, L., . . . Moore, M. (2017). Compendium of the health and wellness coaching literature. American Journal Of Lifestyle Medicine. doi: 10.1177/1559827617708562 (Full text available Open Acccess)

Beatty, J., & McGonagle, A. (2016). Coaching employees with chronic illness: Supporting professional identities through biographical work. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 14(1), 1-15. (Full text available Open Access)

Goble, K. L., Knight, S. M., Burke, S. C., Carawan, L. W., & Wolever, R. Q. (2017). Transformative change to ‘a new me’: A qualitative study of clients’ lived experience with integrative health coaching. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 10(1), 18-36. doi: 10.1080/17521882.2016.1266004 (Full text available for IOC members)

Sherifali, D., Viscardi, V., Bai, J.-W., & Ali, R. M. U. (2016). Evaluating the effect of a diabetes health coach in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Canadian Journal Of Diabetes, 40(1), 84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2015.10.006 (Full text available Open Access)

Sherifali, D. (2017). Diabetes coaching for individuals with type 2 diabetes: A state-of-the-science review and rationale for a coaching model. Journal Of Diabetes, 9(6), 547-554. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12528 (Full text available Open Access)

Lindberg, I., Lindberg, B., & Söderberg, S. (2017). Patients’ and healthcare personnel’s experiences of health coaching with online self-management in the Renewing Health Project. International Journal of Telemedicine & Applications, 1-8. doi: 10.1155/2017/9306192 (Full text available Open Access)

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