Published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Authors: Sears LE, Coberley CR, Pope JE

Objective: To study the direct and mediated effects of a telephonic health coaching program on changes to healthy behaviors, life satisfaction, and optimism.
Methods: This longitudinal correlational study of 4,881 individuals investigated simple and mediated relationships between participation in a telephonic health risk coaching program and outcomes from three annual Well-being Assessments.

Results: Program participation was directly related to improvements in healthy behaviors, life satisfaction and optimism, and indirect effects of coaching on these variables concurrently and over a one-year time lag were also supported.

Conclusions: Given previous research that improvements to life satisfaction, optimism and health behaviors are valuable for individuals, employers and communities, a clearer understanding of intervention approaches that may impact these outcomes simultaneously can drive greater program effectiveness and value on investment.

Key Takeaways:

  • This paper provides a better understanding of the multiple mechanisms that are underlying the effects of a telephonic health coaching program and informs improvements that could increase the value of such programs.
  • When participants are more engaged in telephonic health coaching, health behaviors, life satisfaction and optimism are more likely to improve compared to those who did not engage.
  • Program-related improvements to health behavior explain subsequent improvements to global perceptions of well-being (life satisfaction and optimism) one year later.
  • While also significant but slightly weaker, program-related improvements to these life perceptions explained a portion of the improvements observed in health behavior.