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Bridging the gap between health behavior change theory and clinical practice.


The Otway Division nurses working in general practice have benefited greatly in undergoing health coaching training in caring and working with patients/clients who have a chronic disease.

Many have implemented the processes and strategies in their daily work practice. One nurse rang me and was so excited that the model really works . In requesting a patient to write down his goals for self management of his disease, the patient broke down and cried. It was only at this point that his illiteracy became evident and then she realised that all the paper resources etc. that she had given to him in the past was not working to manage his disease.

Typical Comments from Participants

Diabetes Educator: “As a diabetes educator of some years duration I have learnt that there is no point in telling people to do anything without assessing if they want to do so and often having to assist people along the journey of change. These skills shared with us are wonderful tools for health care professional, helping us to assess readiness to change, helping with goal setting with the client. Everything was great as can put into practice immediately all the new skills and also confirmed that I already had and was using quite a few already. Great mix of new stuff and confidence boost that I was on the right track.”

Dietitian: "All Dieticians who work with patients need to be trained in this method. It is only after working for a few years with our traditional counseling model do we realize how ineffective it is."

Dietitian: "This workshop opened my eyes to other ways of dealing with patients who I may have labeled (unconsciously or consciously) as difficult/unmotivated etc. In reality they probably aren't - I just never realized the cues they were giving me and the questions I could have asked (or not asked) to help them achieve their goals (or even as basic as prioritizing their goals or readiness to make them!) The art of allowing silence in a consult is one that all Dietitians need to learn. Thanks."

Nurse: "This workshop will change the way nurses practice. HC will make a difference to outcomes in chronic health with behavior change. Would be great for all nurses to be trained in this model at university."

Physiotherapist: "I am always frustrated by patients not adhering to exercise programs. This gives me a lot of insight into patients reasons for not complying and reasons for resistance. This course also then provides tools to assist patients to identify and motivate clients to achieve desired outcomes."

Physio, Ergonomist Master Trainer CDSMP: “The Health Coaching skills will equip individual for assisting client in Chronic condition self-management. It will enhance trainer ability in Group programs, such as Chronic Disease Self Management Program, Stanford Uni, USA.”

Podiatrist: “I find that most clients expect me to provide treatment & advice. This course has given me ideas to open up the dialogue with clients and explore better strategies by empowering them to make their own choices. I'm really looking forward to applying these new ideas. Thanks.”

Practice Nurse: “Yes. It would be helpful (to others in my profession). I thoroughly enjoyed the course & with some practice I will try to implement in the surgery. Perhaps the GP's having some knowledge of HC would be beneficial in supporting as to implement it. There will be some challenges & it will take time & practice. Thank You”

Program Manager: "My role is to implement a chronic disease management program in community health, with a strong focus on self management interventions. Health Coaching will be an invaluable component in this program, and I hope to have all program staff trained so we can embed it in our model."


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