Chronic Conditions: Back to School Part 9

chronic conditions

Almost half of all Americans, over one hundred and third million people, suffer from chronic conditions (Schneider, O’Donnell and Dean, 2009). In order to help keep delivery of evidence-based care as uniform as possible, practice guidelines and standards of care should be in place and have been found to save up to 88,000 lives per year because of the elimination of delivery variations.

For health coaches, an understanding of the standards of care is imperative. Further, being able to incorporate coaching techniques to encourage behavior change and self-management will be beneficial for you, your organization, and your patients.

Four tips for selecting “best practice” interventions to incorporate into an evidence-based health coaching approach, according to the National Society of Health Coaches, are: 

  1. Elicit feedback from clinicians in the field, the agency medical director and referral sources, and clients regarding the outcomes you deem a priority for the population(s) served.
  2. Develop “best practice” interventions that drive the outcomes you desire to achieve
  3. Consider the need to develop “best practice” interventions for all disciples or for a primary discipline – such as nursing. Take into consideration historical care management data by discipline.
  4. Review your current admission assessment and outcomes tools to gain insight into how to prioritize and select interventions for various outcomes or diagnoses.

The Evidence-Based Health Coaching Certification program through the National Society of Health Coaches offers specific practice interventions for several chronic conditions, including:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension (HTN)
  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Pressure Ulcer

The program manual also offers an extensive list of other websites for more evidence-based practice. The NSHC program does a lot of the legwork for you!

Take a look at what organizations and your peers have said about the program here:




Schneider, K., O’Donnell, B.E., Dean, D. (2009). “Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions In The United States’ Medicare Population”, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 7:82. Retrieved August 16, 2012 from

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