Coaching for Behavior Change in Physiatry

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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.

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