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Patient Engagement Tips from Catholic Health Initiatives

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2014

Weight management is one of two focus areas Hoover says is most important among employees and patients. The other disease Hoovers says is important to get under control is diabetes.

As far as evidence pointing to the benefit of health coaching, Hoover uses an internal study done by senior year nursing students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. They specifically wanted to find out the effects of having health coaches for patients who either had hypertension, diabetes, or needed to lose weight.

The study analyzed 80 patients, 40 who had a health coach and 40 who did not. Patients with hypertension had more progression and less regression than those without a health coach. Ninety percent of patients with a health coach improved managing their hypertension and only 10% regressed. The percentage of patients who regressed jumped to 30% without a health coach.

The findings were similar for patients with diabetes: patients who had a health coach reported progress 61% of the time; while only 30% improved when patients had no health coach. Weight management results were the same, too. Health coaches helped patients reduce their BMI and according to Hoover, maintain it, too.

Hoover also says they identify and connect with employees who are at high risk of developing chronic conditions.

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