What is the effect of health coaching on physical activity participation in people aged 60 years and over? A systematic review of randomised controlled trials

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What is the effect of health coaching on physical activity participation in people aged 60 years and over? A systematic review of randomised controlled trials
Publication Date: 
August, 2017
british journal of sports medicine

Background: Physical inactivity is common in older age, yet increased activity benefits older people in terms of preventing chronic disease and maximising independence. Health coaching is a behaviour change intervention that has been shown to increase physical activity in clinical populations. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effect of health coaching on physical activity, mobility, quality of life and mood in older people.

Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, PsycINFO, PEDro, SPORTDiscus, LILACS and CINAHL databases were used to identify randomised controlled trials which evaluated the effect of health coaching on physical activity (primary outcome) among people aged 60+. Secondary outcomes were mobility, quality of life and mood. We calculated standardised mean differences (SMDs, Hedges’ g) with 95% CIs from random effects meta-analyses.

Results: 27 eligible trials were included. Health coaching had a small, statistically significant effect on physical activity (27 studies; SMD = 0.27; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.37; p<0.001). There was no evidence of an effect of health coaching on mobility (eight studies; SMD = 0.10; 95% CI −0.03 to 0.23; p=0.13), quality of life (eight studies; SMD = 0.07; 95% CI −0.06 to 0.20; p<0.05) or mood (five studies; SMD = 0.02; 95% CI −0.12 to 0.16; p=0.83).

Conclusions: Health coaching significantly increased physical activity in people aged 60+. There was no evidence of an effect of health coaching on quality of life, mobility and mood, so different approaches may be required to impact on these outcomes.


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British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM)

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Citation: 
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(19), 1425

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