From expert to coach: health coaching to support behavior change within physical therapist practice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background: Negative health behaviors are a significant risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and are responsible for 40-50% of the burden of disease in the US population. Physical therapists (PTs) have the capacity to effect behavior change in their patients to reduce their risk of disease and promote health. Competence in health behavior change is recommended for physical therapists. One way to achieve this competence is by learning and adopting a health coaching approach. Objectives: To provide a theoretical and practical approach to applying a health coaching approach in physical therapist clinical practice. Methods: 1) Describe a health coaching approach to facilitating behavior change; 2) present behavior change theories, communication strategies, and models underpinning health coaching; and 3) provide suggestions for ways PTs can integrate health coaching in clinical practice. Results: Health coaching is a dynamic and collaborative approach to health behavior change that harnesses the patient's or client's values and strengths to realize their goals for health. Conclusion: Adopting a health coaching approach may enhance adherence to physical therapists' recommendations as well as improve health outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rethorn, ZD; Bezner, JR; Pettitt, CD

Published Date

  • October 7, 2021

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 16

PubMed ID

  • 34620046

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5040

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09593985.2021.1987601


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England