An informed and engaged patient is an essential component of successful disease management and treatment. Health coaching serves as a tool for developing a patient’s skills and confidence to enable them to proactively participate in their health care. Since nurses are the crucial link between healthcare services and patients, the coaching component of nursing is increasingly being recognised as an integral part of high-quality care.
Studies have found that patient-centred coaching builds patient self-efficacy by enhancing knowledge, aiding decision-making, and informing behavioural change1.However, the efficacy of the nurse as a coach is dependent on the nurse’s ability to utilise the patient’s frame of reference. This calls for a strategic approach to coaching that goes beyond the skills so often cited as being intrinsic to this type of work, such as motivational interviewing.
Motivational interviewing is important, but so is incorporating other dimensions into coaching to enable nurses to find common ground with their patients. This will help to create the crucial balance between meeting the clinical and personal needs of the patient – both of which are necessary to enhance compliance and drive better health outcomes.
Key dimensions of nurse coaching
There are five key dimensions to successful nurse coaching: