This week's insight...
Melinda Huffman
Partner in Miller and Huffman Outcome Architects

July 18, 2012
Vol. I, No. 9

Melinda Huffman
Melinda Huffman,
Partner in Miller and Huffman Outcome Architects, co-founder
of the National Society of Health Coaches, and a cardiovascular
clinical specialist, writer and author

For Further Reading:

Health Coach Hiring, Training and ROI: Profiting from Behavior Change

How Is Health Coaching Viewed by the Medical
Establishment and How Has It Changed?

"Itís been well received. We get calls regularly from physicians who not only want to learn some coaching skills but also want to extend this to their staff who interact with patients. Theyíre now beginning to realize just what an important impact health coaching can have. Five years ago, we received very few calls from physicians about educating their staff.

Also, weíre beginning to see in the medical literature more written about health coaching and motivational interviewing in particular. For the most part, it was non-existent five years ago, while very prevalent in behavioral health literature and research. There's over 30 years of research in motivational interviewing. Thatís what began to move payors in the direction of health coaching, because it comprised some motivational interviewing concepts. And with the kind of research and outcomes that they were able to generate in individuals with chronic conditions, such as alcoholism, they felt like it was time to look at what could happen when using that type of intervention with individuals with chronic conditions. There was quite a bit of success.

The medical establishment now wants health coaching practices to be evidence-based, as they should be. There are many organizations who offer health coaching, or who engage in health coaching, that are not evidence-based. That is something that the user needs to keep an eye out for. Thatís why motivational interviewing has gained such widespread interest and appeal for physicians; it has that 30 years of supporting research."

This is an excerpt from an interview with Melinda Huffman, co-founder of the National Society of Health Coaches, and a cardiovascular clinical specialist, writer and author.

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