What is Health Coaching?
Health coaching is an umbrella term used to describe many different interventions that ‘coach’ or actively support people to self-manage and move away from a dependent model to one that is personalised, empowering and based around a person’s own aspirations and goals.
- helps people gain and use the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active participants in their care so that they can reach their self-identified health and wellbeing goals
- raises awareness and increases responsibility for health and wellbeing
- is about supporting someone to change their relationship to how they manage their health and care
- requires a change in how health and care practitioners communicate
Health coaching is a combination of practitioner skills plus behaviour change assistance that “guides and prompts people to be an active participant in behaviour change”. It aims to raise awareness and responsibility of the person for their own health and wellbeing, achieved through a transformation in the practitioner/service user relationship. Health coaching is based on strong provider communication and negotiation skills, informed, service user-defined goals, conscious choices, exploration of the consequences of decisions, and service user accountability for decisions made.
A health coaching approach sees people as truly resourceful, as an equal in the practitioner-service user relationship, and as the holders of the solutions to the challenges that they face. It sees a practitioner’s role as including the provision of expert information when it is required, and as a mechanism to support the setting of meaningful health and social goals and the framing of conversations in which a person is supported to make decisions about their own life.
How can Health Coaching be applied?
At TPC Health we have led the development of Health Coaching skills programmes and health coaching services for practitioners in many areas, and are responsible for many of the “firsts” in applying health coaching in different health and care settings. Here are some examples of how we have applied Health Coaching.
Supporting practitioners to develop the skills, abilities and mindsets that support person centred care, behaviour change and encourage care management
Wellbeing and healthy lifestyles
Providing individual practitioners and health coaching services with the skills required to engage the wider population in a pro-active and preventative mind-set to improve healthy lifestyles and encourage wellness behaviours
Managing flow and supporting recovery
Supporting practitioners to more consciously manage patient and family expectations, encourage positive risk taking and facilitate recovery and rehabilitation to enable earlier discharge and reduce re-admissions
Supporting practitioners to engage service users and carers in coaching style conversations that elicit goals which encourage self-management, improve relationships with service providers and increase social, psychological and physical health
Equipping carers with the ability to have coaching orientated conversations, both with the people that they care for and staff in the services that they use
Enabling people in social prescribing roles (e.g. link workers or navigators) to use a health coaching approach to support community-based self-management and utilisation of community assets
Long term conditions
Helping practitioners develop the skills to support people manage multiple co-morbidity, optimise self management, encourage preventative behaviours and adopt of healthy lifestyles to reduce burden on the health system
Using a health coaching approach to enhance well managed mental health through appropriate self-management encompassing medications adherence, encouraging a proactive approach to symptom/relapse recognition, lifestyle management and care for physical health
Equipping practitioners with an adherence remit to develop health coaching skills that will enhance medicines adherence and improve health outcomes
Supporting practitioners to use coaching approaches that engage people to move from being passive users or recipients of services towards becoming more active in how they access and use support (e.g. personal budgets)
Supporting practitioners to learn how to tailor their conversations to the different levels of activation as measured by the PAM® tool in order to increase knowledge, skills and confidence for their health and health care
Specific long term conditions and pathways
Developing interventions to support practitioners to use health coaching for a specific long term condition (e.g. diabetes, progressive neurological conditions, rare metabolic conditions)
Interventions to support active patient management systems (including telehealth and integration with risk stratification approaches), to increase patient activation through an active partnership approach
Non-clinical health coaches
Interventions to support staff that do not have a clinical background to learn how to use health coaching skills and techniques to work with patients to increase activation, support lifestyle change, prevent admissions and encourage self management
Early intervention and prevention
Supporting practitioners to use coaching based processes that engage people earlier in their service user journey, getting to the heart of a problem before they escalate, thereby making the strategic shift towards prevention and early intervention
Find out more about TPC Health
We recognise that every organisation, team and individual is unique. Talk to us to find out more about how we can support you and we’ll be pleased to design a solution with you.