Effectiveness of Health Coaching in Diabetes Control and Lifestyle Improvement: A Randomized-Controlled Trial.

Nutrients. 2021;13(11)

Plain language summary

World Health Organization statistics indicate that over 400 million people worldwide have Type 2 Diabetes. Health coaching is an approach to diabetes management that empowers patients to make healthier choices by changing their behaviours. This two-arm randomised controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of health coaching in reducing blood sugar levels and following a healthy diet among Type 2 diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes improved their HbA1c by 0.62% after six months of health coaching. Through health coaching, patients were also able to reduce their calorie intake significantly by reducing their consumption of whole grains, meat, proteins, fats and oils and increasing their intake of vegetables. In the intervention group, diet modifications were also associated with a decrease in HbA1c. The benefits of health coaching in Type 2 diabetes management needs to be confirmed in more robust studies. However, healthcare professionals can use the results of this study to understand how behaviour change in diabetic patients contributes to blood sugar management and healthy eating.


BACKGROUND The study aimed to look into the effectiveness of a 6-month health coaching intervention for HbA1c and healthy diet in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS The study was carried out via a two-armed, randomized controlled trial that included 114 diabetic patients at a medical center in Taiwan. During the 6-month period, the intervention group had health coaching and usual care for 6 months, and the control group had usual care only. The outcome variables were HbA1c level and healthy diet for follow-up measurement in the third and sixth month. RESULTS The study discovered a significant decrease in HbA1c and health diet improvement after the 6-month health coaching. Patients in the intervention group decreased their daily intake of whole grains, fruits, meats and protein, and fats and oils while increasing their vegetables intake. CONCLUSIONS Health coaching may be conducive to the blood sugar control and healthy diet of patients with type 2 diabetes. Further study on health coaching with higher-quality evidence is needed.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Hormonal ; Neurological
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Health coaching
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients ; Psychosocial influences
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Psychological
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable
Bioactive Substances : None

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 3
Allocation concealment : Yes