Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PHONE COUNSELING PROVES EFFECTIVE

In a past life, before my IT career, I worked as an executive and researcher in public sector human services arena, so I found the excerpt below from the FUTURIST UPDATE News & Previews from the World Future Society November 2005 (Vol. 6, No. 11) to be pretty interesting. Would a self-paced online workbook/faq/distance education approach be as effective? What about other problems besides weight and smoking? Would they be equally effective? Sounds like a great opportunity for a social services type with a streak for the entrepreneurial...

Smokers and dieters who live far from clinics could get the professional help they need from new phone-based programs offering direct access to counselors. A University of Kansas program found that obese patients using its telephone counseling services lost as much weight as those receiving face-to-face counseling. For providers of counseling services, the telephone program could significantly lower costs. And for patients, it means less trouble to schedule counseling sessions around work and family commitments. A similar program for helping smokers quit has been launched in Maine.Health professionals counsel the callers needing help coping with the side effects of nicotine-replacement therapy. A recent study found that participants using both nicotine-replacement therapy and phone counseling had the highest quit rates.

SOURCES:University of Kansas, http://www.news.ku.edu/2005/October/Oct19/phonediet.shtml
Center for the Advancement of Health, Health Behavior News Service
http://www.hbns.org/getDocument.cfm?documentID=1144

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