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Open Access Study protocol

Health coaching to promote healthier lifestyle among older people at moderate risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and depression: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial in Sweden

Klas-Göran Sahlen12*, Helene Johansson1, Lennarth Nyström1 and Lars Lindholm1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden

2 2Department of Nursing, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:199  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-199

Published: 6 March 2013

Abstract

Background

The challenge of an aging population in the society makes it important to find strategies to promote health for all. The aim of this study is to evaluate if repeated health coaching in terms of motivational interviewing, and an offer of wide range of activities, will contribute to positive lifestyle modifications and health among persons aged 60–75 years, with moderately elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, or mild depression.

Methods/Design

Men and women between 60 and 75 are recruited in four regions in Sweden if they fulfill one or more of the four inclusion criteria.

•Current reading of blood pressure (140-159/90-99) without medication.

•Current reading of blood sugar (Hba1c 42–52 mmol/mol) without medication.

•A current waist-circumference of ≥94 cm for men and ≥80 for women.

•A minor/mild depression (12–20 points) according to Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale without medication.

Individuals with a worse result than inclusion criteria are treated according to regular guidelines at the PHCs and therefore not included. Exclusion criteria for the study are dementia, mental illness or other condition deemed unsuitable for participation.

All participants fill out a questionnaire at baseline, and at the 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-ups containing questions on demographic characteristics, social life, HRQoL, lifestyle habits, general health/medication, self-rated mental health, and sense of coherence. At the 12-month follow-up, the health coach will give each participant a second questionnaire to capture attitudes and perceptions related to health coaching and venues/activities offered.

Qualitative data will be collected twice to obtain a deeper understanding of perceptions and attitudes related to health and lifestyle/lifestyle modifications. A health economic assessment will be performed. Individual costs for health care utilisation will be collected and QALY-scores will be estimated.

Discussion

Several drawbacks can be identified when conducting research in real life. However, many of the identified problems can diminish the positive results of the intervention and if the intervention shows positive effects they might be underestimated.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN01396033.

Keywords:
Life style changes; Prevention; Motivational interviewing; Older people; RCT; Health coaching; Health economics