Health coaching in severe COPD after a hospitalization: A qualitative analysis of a large randomized study

Roberto P. Benzo, Janae L. Kirsch, Julie C. Hathaway, Charlene E. McEvoy, Kristin S. Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We recently demonstrated in a randomized study the feasibility and effectiveness of telephone-based health coaching using motivational interviewing on decreasing hospital readmissions and improving quality of life at 6 and 12 months after hospital discharge. In this qualitative study, we sought to explore the health-coaching intervention as seen from the perspective of the participants who received the intervention and the coaches who delivered it. METHODS: Semistructured participant interviews (n = 24) and a focus group of all health coaches (n = 3) who participated in this study were conducted. Interviews and focus group were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed using coding and categorizing techniques and thematic analysis. Mixed-method triangulation was used to merge quantitative and qualitative data. RESULTS: Content analysis revealed 4 predominant themes of the coaching intervention: health-coaching relationship, higher participant confidence and reassurance (most related to improvement in physical quality of life), improved health-care system access (most related to decreased hospital readmissions), and increased awareness of COPD symptoms (most related to improvement in emotional quality of life). The strongest theme was the relationship with the health coach, including coach style and motivational interviewing approach. Health coaches' focus group also noted the importance of the coaching relationship as the most significant theme. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided themes to further inform the delivery and implementation of health-coaching interventions in patients with COPD after hospital discharge. Health coaching forged partnerships and created a platform for patient engagement, which was confirmed by both participants and health coaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1411
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • COPD
  • Health coaching
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Quality of life
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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