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The Conceptual Nature of "Coaching" in Health-Related Research Literature

D Morrow, J Irwin Second ICF Coaching Research Symposium 2004

Our poster presentation examines the use of the term coaching as it is found in a purposeful sampling of health-related literature. It has been our experience that the term coaching is accepted as a generic term for a technique or intervention that has a multiplicity of meanings and applications. For example, to the Coaches Training Institute, coaching is a "co-active" technique wherein the coach rarely advises. Coach U, on the other hand, considers the primary role of the coach as an advisory one. Thus, when research indicates a particular finding or conclusion that attributes behavior change to coaching, how do we know what the coaching intervention has been? There is an urgent need within the broad field of coaching to develop a more accurate nomenclature regarding the multifaceted nature of "coaching." This paper explores the use of the term coaching as it has been used in health-related literature. We have used a purposeful sampling technique of such journals as: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Nursing, SAMAREL, Research in Nursing and Health, among others. Through this exploration, it is our hope that we can begin to map out more accurate ways to convey both the nature of the term coaching and its impact on health-related behaviors.

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