As our graduates have proven time and time again, health coaching truly can help people improve their wellness, happiness, and quality of life. But can the same effects achieved through in-person counseling be replicated over the phone?
A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine says absolutely! Scope, the Stanford University Medical blog concluded, "Remote weight loss interventions, such as online or phone counseling by health coaches, are as equally effective as programs requiring face-to-face contact, according to findings presented this week at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla."
Participants in the study were divided into three groups. The first group received health coaching over the telephone, email, and Internet, while the second received phone and email support as well as in-person coaching. The third group received only an initial coaching session and no further support.
After 24 months, both groups one and two (which received continued coaching) were very successful! Group one lost an average of 10.12 pounds, while group two lost an average of 11.22 pounds.
Having access to in-person sessions might have given group two a slight advantage over the phone and email-only group, but both groups who received on-going coaching fared better than the third group, which only lost an average of 1.76 pounds!
Even phone and email coaching alone helped people lose more than five times the weight they were able to lose without a Health Coach. That's a pretty compelling statistic, if you ask us!
It's really great news for people who live in remote areas, or just don't have time for in-person counseling. They can still reap many of the positive benefits of having a Health Coach to motivate, support, and guide them towards a healthier lifestyle.
Have you ever received phone coaching? If you are a Health Coach, do you have phone-only clients, and do you find it to be a successful coaching method?