Impact of Peer Delivered Wellness Coaching

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Objective: People receiving publicly funded behavioral health services for severe mental disorders have shorter lifespans and significantly impaired health-related quality of life compared to the general population. The aim of this article was to explore how peer wellness coaching (PWC), a manualized approach to pursue specific physical wellness goals, impacted goal attainment and overall health related quality of life. Method: Deidentified archival program evaluation data were examined to explore whether peer delivered wellness coaching had an impact on 33 service recipients with regard to goal attainment and health-related quality of life. Participants were served by 1 of 12 wellness coach trainees from a transformation transfer initiative grant who had been trained in the manualized approach. Results: Coaching participants and their coaches reported significant progress toward the attainment of individually chosen goals, 2 to 4 weeks after establishing their goals. After 8 to 10 weeks of peer delivered wellness coaching, improvements were evident in the self-report of physical health, general health, and perceived health. These improvements were sustained 90 days later. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: PWC is potentially a promising practice for helping people choose and pursue individual goals and facilitating positive health and wellness changes. Rigorous controlled research with larger samples is needed to evaluate the benefits of peer delivered wellness coaching.

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