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Coaching for Behavior Change in Physiatry

Frates, Elizabeth Pegg MD; Moore, Margaret A. MBA; Lopez, Celeste Nicole MD; McMahon, Graham T. MD, MMSc

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: December 2011 - Volume 90 - Issue 12 - p 1074–1082
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31822dea9a

ABSTRACT Behavior modification is vital to the prevention or amelioration of lifestyle-related disease. Health and wellness coaching is emerging as a powerful intervention to help patients initiate and maintain sustainable change that can be critical to physiatry practice. The coach approach delivers a patient-centered collaborative partnership to create an engaging and realistic individualized plan. The coaching process builds the psychologic skills needed to support lasting change, including mindfulness, self-awareness, self-motivation, resilience, optimism, and self-efficacy. Preliminary studies indicate that health and wellness coaching is a useful and potentially important adjunct to usual care for managing hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cancer pain, cancer survival, asthma, weight loss, and increasing physical activity. Physiatrists can benefit from the insights of coaching to promote effective collaboration, negotiation, and motivation to encourage patients to take responsibility for their recovery and their future wellness by adopting healthy lifestyles.

From the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School (EPF); Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital (MAM); Stanford University School of Medicine (CNL); and Brigham Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (GTM).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 125 Nashua Street, Boston, MA 02114.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article. Margaret A. Moore is the CEO and Founder of Wellcoaches Corporation, a coach training school for health professionals, affiliated with the American College of Sports Medicine.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.