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Keywords:

  • health behavior;
  • health promotion;
  • coaching;
  • nursing;
  • aged

Abstract

The Healthy Aging Project (HAP) tested nurse coaching as a method to support healthy behavior change in older adults. The sample included 111 individuals randomized to a nurse coaching group or usual-care control group. Participants in the intervention group chose the health behaviors they wanted to change and received coaching by nurses in a single in-person session followed by telephone calls or email contact for 6 months. Nurses were trained in motivational interviewing (MI). The intervention group had significantly less illness intrusiveness and health distress than the control group at 6 months, although it is not known whether these health outcomes resulted from behavior changes. This clinical demonstration project showed that nurse-delivered MI, primarily using the telephone and email, is a feasible method to discuss behavioral change with older adults. However, future clinical trials will be needed to evaluate the efficacy of nurse-delivered MI on actual behavioral changes in older adults. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28: 187–197, 2005