The implementation of the coaching on lifestyle (CooL) intervention: lessons learnt

Celeste van Rinsum*, Sanne Gerards, Geert Rutten, Madelon Johannesma, Ien van de Goor, Stef Kremers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Combined lifestyle interventions (CLIs) are designed to help people who are overweight or obese maintain a healthy new lifestyle. The CooL intervention is a CLI in the Netherlands, in which lifestyle coaches counsel adults and children (and/or their parents) who are obese or at high risk of obesity to achieve a sustained healthier lifestyle. The intervention consists of coaching on lifestyle in group and individual sessions, addressing the topics of physical activity, dietary behaviours, sleep, stress management and behavioural change. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation process of the Coaching on Lifestyle (CooL) intervention and its facilitating and impeding factors. Methods Mixed methods were used in this action-oriented study. Both quantitative (number of referrals, attendance lists of participants and questionnaires) and qualitative (group and individual interviews, observations, minutes and open questions) data were collected among participants, lifestyle coaches, project group members and other stakeholders. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to analyse the data. Results CooL was evaluated by stakeholders and participants as an accessible and useful programme, because of its design and content and the lifestyle coaches' approach. However, stakeholders indicated that the lifestyle coaches need to become more familiar in the health care network and public sectors in the Netherlands. Lifestyle coaching is a novel profession and the added value of the lifestyle coach is not always acknowledged by all health care providers. Lifestyle coaches play a crucial role in ensuring the impact of CooL by actively networking, using clear communication materials and creating stakeholders' support and understanding. Conclusion The implementation process needs to be strengthened in terms of creating support for and providing clear information about lifestyle coaching. The CooL intervention was implemented in multiple regions, thanks to the efforts of many stakeholders. Lifestyle coaches should engage in networking activities and entrepreneurship to boost the implementation process. It takes considerable time for a lifestyle coach to become fully incorporated in primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number667
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2019


  • Lifestyle
  • Coaching
  • Overweight
  • Obesity
  • Combined lifestyle intervention
  • Implementation process


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