Health Coaching in Diabetes: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

January 1, 2015


To effectively manage diabetes mellitus, patients must adhere to treatment recommendations and healthy lifestyle behaviors, but research shows many patients do not do this. Education is effective when combined with self-management support but peer-support programs do not lead to lasting changes. Health coaching, or professional support, can be highly effective if it focuses on developing self-efficacy and skills such as goal-setting, problem-solving and managing cognitive and emotional barriers. This overview discusses the benefits of patient self-management for chronic conditions such as diabetes, core competencies for health coaching, theoretical bases and principles of health coaching interventions, delivery methods and the evidence that health coaching works for diabetes self-management.