Health Coaching Approach – Part 1: Introduction

Evidence-Based Health Coaching is quite different from traditional patient teaching methods. Instead of using educational materials, demonstrations and clinician knowledge to direct patient behavior change, Health Coaches activate “a patient’s own motivation for change and adherence to treatment” (Rollnick, Miller & Butler, 2008). Ambivalence stalls behavior change, so the Health Coach works to facilitate the patient’s move from ambivalence to the adoption of the necessary behavior change using the patient’s own agenda (Huffman, 2009).

But, how does the Health Coach do this? Through five general concepts: Active Listening, Working from the Patient’s Agenda, Identifying Patient Beliefs and Values, Eliciting Change Talk, and Recognizing Patient’s Change Readiness.

For the next five weeks we will explain these five concepts further so that you are able to gain the basics of Evidence-Based Health Coaching. Once you understand the basics you will understand how valuable this training is and how it can revolutionize the patient behavior change process in your practice.

Next week, we will discuss Active Listening.



Huffman, M. (2009). Health Coaching: A Fresh, New Approach to Improve Quality Outcomes and Compliance for

Patients with Chronic Conditions. Home Healthcare Nurse, 27 (8), p. 490-498.

Rollnick, S., Miller W. R., & Butler, C. C. (2008). Motivational interviewing in health care: Helping patients change

           behavior. New York: Guilford Press.

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