Pilot 2 (Howard)

Pilot PI: Dr. Elizabeth Howard

Title: Use of a Wellness Coaching Model to Support Successful Aging


Dr. Howard’s project utilizes Vitalize 360, an integrative, comprehensive assessment system and wellness coaching program among vulnerable older adults living in subsidized housing within the Boston Housing Authority. Implementation of Vitalize 360 challenges and seeks to shift the current clinical practice paradigm from a provider-controlled to a person-centered approach, promoting personal activation to improve health and wellbeing, outcomes that are being measured during the course of this project.


There is a critical need to provide older adults with the resources and support that promote their independence, enable them to adopt healthy life-style choices, assume responsibility for their self-management of chronic conditions., and ultimately, age successfully- – attaining optimal health and well-being. The primary purpose of this project is to introduce a comprehensive assessment system and wellness coaching model as an innovative approach to increase self-management of chronic conditions and to determine the most relevant, efficient, and effective strategies for implementing this approach with an urban and low-income population of diverse older adults.

The specific aims are to:

  1. determine appropriate strategies for implementing the wellness coaching model among low income older adults from populations with health disparities; and
  2. pilot test a study to determine whether low income older adults who participate in a personalized, strategic wellness coaching model as compared to a wait-listed control group will have higher self-management behaviors such as activation levels, increased physical activity, and an improved self-reported quality of life and health status.

An initial sample of 10 elders were recruited to introduce the wellness coaching model and explore the feasibility and acceptability of effective and efficient strategies for implementation. In the second phase of the project, an additional 40 older adults will be recruited, with 20 assigned to a wait-list control group to further test the identified wellness coaching strategies. Assessment tools will include: Patient Activation Measure, the interRAI Health and Social Check-up and the interRAI Wellness. Independent and paired comparisons using a t-test will be used to examine self-management behaviors within and between groups. The pilot results will have the potential to generate critical preliminary data essential for designing a large clinical trial on the use of wellness coaching as an intervention to enhance self-management among urban and low-income diverse older adults.

Click here to download the abstract