Health Coaching Approach – Part 4: Identifying Patient Beliefs & Values

Evidence-based Health Coaching helps patients adopt necessary behavior change through methods that differ from traditional practitioner-patient relationships. One of the approaches used in Evidence-based Health Coaching is identifying patient beliefs and values. Beliefs and attitudes are the basis for behind most human action (Rollnick, Miller & Butler, 2008). If the patient’s beliefs and values are not identified, then you will have a difficult time understanding what could motivate them to change, what beliefs are keeping them from changing, and many other issues (Huffman, 2009).

Questions such as “please tell me why you believe _____” can help lead you to the beliefs of the patient. For example, asking a patient why he or she does not believe they need a medication can reveal underlying fears (Huffman, 2009). This investigative approach can identify those fears and beliefs so that you can help the patient overcome these fears in order to encourage positive behavior change.



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.

Leave a Reply