Medical students as health coaches: Implementation of a student-initiated Lifestyle Medicine curriculum

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Medical students as health coaches: Implementation of a student-initiated Lifestyle Medicine curriculum

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Title: Medical students as health coaches: Implementation of a student-initiated Lifestyle Medicine curriculum
Author: Polak, Rani; Finkelstein, Adi; Axelrod, Tom; Dacey, Marie; Cohen, Matan; Muscato, Dennis; Shariv, Avi; Constantini, Naama W; Brezis, Mayer

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Citation: Polak, Rani, Adi Finkelstein, Tom Axelrod, Marie Dacey, Matan Cohen, Dennis Muscato, Avi Shariv, Naama W Constantini, and Mayer Brezis. 2017. “Medical students as health coaches: Implementation of a student-initiated Lifestyle Medicine curriculum.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 6 (1): 42. doi:10.1186/s13584-017-0167-y. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13584-017-0167-y.
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Abstract: Background: By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that two-thirds of all diseases worldwide will be the result of lifestyle choices. Physicians often do not counsel patients about healthy behaviors, and lack of training has been identified as one of the barriers. Between 2010 and 2014, Hebrew University developed and implemented a 58-h Lifestyle Medicine curriculum spanning five of the 6 years of medical school. Content includes nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and behavior change, as well as health coaching practice with friends/relatives (preclinical years) and patients (clinical years). This report describes this development and diffusion process, and it also presents findings related to the level of acceptance of this student-initiated Lifestyle Medicine (LM) curriculum. Methods: Students completed an online semi-structured questionnaire after the first coaching session (coaching questionnaire) and the last coaching session (follow-up questionnaire). Results: Nine hundred and twenty-three students completed the coaching questionnaire (296 practices were with patients, 627 with friends /relatives); and 784 students completed the follow-up questionnaire (208 practices were with patients, 576 with friends /relatives). They reported overall that health coaching domains included smoking cessation (263 students), nutrition (79), and exercise (117); 464 students reported on combined topics. Students consistently described a high acceptance of the curriculum and their active role in coaching. Further, most students reported that they were eager to address their own health behaviors. Conclusions: We described the development and acceptance of a student-initiated comprehensive LM curriculum. Students perceived LM as an important component of physicians’ professional role and were ready to explore it both as coaches and in their personal lives. Thus, medical school deans might consider developing similar initiatives in order to position medical schools as key players within a preventive strategy in healthcare policy. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13584-017-0167-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Published Version: doi:10.1186/s13584-017-0167-y
Other Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5680812/pdf/
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34493058
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