Coaching for Doctors and Public Health Leaders – Medical Coaching Impact
I routinely measure the impact of my public health and medical leadership and career coaching practice as part of my audit and quality improvement processes.
I collect anonymised before and after data from my clients using the 7-item Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS).
I also collect other data in my evaluation form in order to audit my coaching practice.
To ensure my clients are moving forwards to their satisfaction, I also review progress with each client during every session: this also helps with their reflective processes and is in line with GMC requirements for CPD.
Coaching for doctors and public health leaders with Fiona Day is statistically proven to increase wellbeing
These results are based on 80 consecutive evaluations completed by senior doctors, medical and public health leaders following an average of 8.7 hours of 1:1 coaching during 2018-22. They are based on the internationally recognised Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) to measure the change in wellbeing.
The intervention comprised bespoke individualised leadership and career coaching programmes for doctors and public health leaders. Goals commonly included: identifying future career direction; improving work-life balance; and improving leadership skills, including at Board or system level. A minority of clients’ goals (less than 10%) specifically included improving psychological wellbeing. All sessions were one-to-one format.
The mechanism was leadership and career coaching grounded in coaching psychology, and integrated a range of evidence-based approaches in a flexible manner according to each client’s needs.
Delivery took place using a combination of in person and or online coaching sessions over a period of several months, with between session ‘homework’. Coaching sessions were 90 minutes long, generally between two to four weeks apart.
Before and after ‘raw’ SWEMWBS scores were collected and then translated to metric scores(13) to allow assessment of statistically meaningful change, defined as greater than or equal to 2.0 metric points (49). The SWEMWBS was used under licence. Each client’s metric scores were classified into low, medium or high wellbeing using established parameters(14).
Data were analysed using Excel (Microsoft 365 Apps for Business), using the data analysis toolpack. Statistical analysis was undertaken using the t-Test: Paired Two Sample for Means (15).
The 80 clients comprised 19 (23.4%) senior doctors who were not in a formal leadership role; 37 (46.2%) senior doctors in formal leadership roles; 8 (10.0%) public health leaders who were also doctors; and 16 (20.0%) non-medical public health leaders.
Of the 80 clients, the age range was 30-63 years (mean 44.5, mode and 45.0). 37 clients were male (46.3%). The proportion of non-white ethnicity was 21.3% (17). Participants undertook an average of 8.7 hours of coaching (range 3 to 36, mode 6, median 9).
The mean wellbeing score before the coaching intervention was 21.2 metric (range 9.5-29.3). The mean wellbeing score after the coaching intervention was 24.5 metric (range 18.0-35.0). The improvement in net metric wellbeing outcomes after the coaching intervention was highly statistically significant using the paired 2 tail t-test (t = -9.52, p<0.0001).
The mean improvement was +17.4% (median 115.8%, mode 100, range -17.7% to +202.4%).
All domains of wellbeing were positively impacted by the coaching intervention, the greatest improvement was in ‘feeling optimistic about the future’ (average of +0.79 improvement), and ‘able to make my mind up about things’ (average of +0.60 improvement).
It is particularly interesting that while improving wellbeing is not always an explicit objective of coaching for doctors and public health leaders, it is a consistent outcome.