New Study Reveals 84% of Americans With a Chronic Disease Have Never Worked With a Health Coach
WILMINGTON, Del., July 11, 2023 (Newswire.com) - A survey of 550 people in the United States with a chronic disease, conducted by Saluto Institute, revealed that 84% of respondents have never worked with a health coach, and 71% are not familiar with how health coaching may benefit them.
Over the past three years, a surge of peer-reviewed research has demonstrated the effectiveness of health coaching for many of the 6 in 10 adults in America who have at least one of the most common (and costly) chronic diseases. Health coaching can benefit patients with cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, mental illness, addiction, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and even certain types of cancers. In early 2023, UnitedHealthcare announced the launch of a virtual coaching program for eligible members. In April, Walgreens rolled out a new care coaching program in select pharmacies across seven states. Numerous digital healthcare startups, digital therapeutics providers, and specialty medical practices are hiring health coaches to improve patient care and maximize patient outcomes.
"Health coaches have the potential to play an integral role in solving the community and public health crisis in America," says Lara Zakaria, VP of science education and learner experience at Saluto Institute. Health coaches provide patients with guidance in navigating the healthcare system, create relevant and culturally-responsive health education, offer community care and social support, and develop personalized health behavior modification plans that physicians and other providers don't have the capacity to offer their patients. "Patients who are members of marginalized communities already struggle to access culturally appropriate and inclusive health and wellness resources, and health coaches can change that" affirms Ebony Williams, VP of health equity & inclusion at Saluto Institute.
Even though the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet include health coaches in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, health coaching is a rapidly growing and future-proof profession that is still, in many ways, in its infancy. Health coaches have a vast array of opportunities to work in various community and clinical settings, and even remotely. Certified health and community wellness coaches learn evidence-informed skills to help people with any number of health conditions. "Connecting people in your community with the resources they need to improve their health is incredibly gratifying and meaningful work," says Saluto Institute's Director of Community Care, advisor, and health coach, Angie Alt.
In August 2023, Saluto Institute will be the first public benefit company to launch a health and community wellness coach certification program. "This program is specifically developed to equip the new generation of health and community wellness coaches with the skills and confidence they need to support, educate and empower their communities, as well as advocate for systemic change," says Zakaria. Saluto Institute will partner with other organizations to continue researching health coaching and its potential implications for patients, healthcare providers, public health systems, health equity, and community wellness.
Source: Saluto Institute