Coach Attributes Tied To Better Quit Rates in Smoking Cessation Program

Monday, February 11th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Measuring ChangeDoes a health coach who’s also an ex-smoker get better results from participants in a smoking cessation program? Not necessarily, says Darcy Hurlbert of Ceridian LifeWorks, but other coach attributes may make a difference. She describes some recent findings her company determined when evaluating health coach outcomes and ROI:

What attributes lead to a successful coach — a coach having successful outcomes? All of our coaches underwent a battery of assessments from SIGMA Assessment Systems that measure personality, aptitude and leadership. Eighteen of our coaches took these assessments and we looked at these results against an individual’s probability of quitting. We saw that a coach’s attributes do have an effect on quit rates…

We then looked at specific variables and found that there was not one coach attribute in particular that really made a difference. We found there is a group of three attributes that showed evidence of higher outcomes with a probability value of .05: verbal ability, self-reliance and individualism. We are going to do a coach-attributes analysis again, using our preliminary findings regarding these three core attributes. Socioeconomic analysis was not performed on the coaches, regarding their ages, education levels and salaries. We considered experience, education (whether they had a master’s degree), gender and whether they were former smokers.

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