Longitudinal Benefits of Wellness Coaching Interventions for Cancer Survivors

I09 10

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the immediate and longitudinal impact of 6 Wellness Coaching (WC) sessions for cancer survivors in improving health, fitness, well-being, and overall quality of life (QOL). Methodology: Thirty participants were recruited in three states and received intervention through the telephone. The participants included 20 breast, 7 prostate and 3 colorectal cancer survivors who ranged between 0.5 – 9 years since primary treatment ended. Instrument measures at baseline and the completion of the program included (3, 9, and 15 months from baseline): Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale (HADS), Exercise Stage Assessment, Quality of Life Patient/Cancer Survivor and Self-Efficacy Scales. A web-based self report Wellcoach® Well-being Measurement was also completed on-line. This was used for documentation and follow-up communication between coaching sessions with a certified wellness coach and fitness professional for 6 WC sessions for 3 months. They were followed for a year after the completion of the intervention to evaluate the sustainability of WC. Results: During the intervention period, significant improvements were found in depression (p=.003) and anxiety (p=.002) measured by HADS, increased Exercise Stage Assessment (p=.001), and QOL (p=.001). Positive trends were noted in all other measures during the 3 months of coaching. These positive trends continued from the cessation of coaching to 6 months after the intervention. A slight decline in these improvements was observed from 6 to 12 month but did not return to baseline. Patient-reported WC process improved lifestyle habits by helping with positive goal setting, awareness of food choices, and exercise as primary elements. Actual reported changes and improvements included exercise and eating healthier. The most helpful aspect of working with a personal coach included motivation and feedback. Self report of fruit and vegetable consumption increased, and BMI and weight were reduced. Conclusion: Wellness Coaching may decrease psychological distress, improve quality of life as well as self-reported health behavior and weight in cancer survivors. Wellness coaching has the potential to bridge between clinical medicine and multiple health and social disciplines to improve the overall well-being of cancer survivors. These findings need to be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial.