(2014). Motivational health coaching empowers diabetic patients, improves dental health. Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271752.php
This article describes an innovative approach to helping patients with diabetes avoid oral health problems. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen helped a group of diabetics to improve their oral health through a series of motivational health coaching sessions. These sessions, where were held over a six-month period, focused on subject such as diet, stress management, and dental care. The results of the experimental group were tested against those of a control group, who instead received traditionally distributed information about dental health and healthy living. Those patients that received the intervention saw improved numbers for periodontitis and HbA1c levels compared to the control group.
University of Copenhagen Department of Odontology Head of Section Lone Schou is correct when he states that “Health coaching is a resource-intensive intervention. However, dishing out a brochure to patients with diabetes and thinking that that will do it, is also a costly approach for society. Ineffective health communication due to a lack of creativity results in massive and costly problems for society.” Health coaching and delivering a higher quality of care may require more upfront resources, but an improved process of care delivery may reduce care delivery time later on, when practitioners are not seeing repeat patients because the care was insufficient during the first visit.
Due to changes in reimbursement models to outcomes-based, rather than service-delivery based models, it will be critical for health care teams to empower patients to the best of their ability to manage their own care. Patients will feel like they are enabled to self-manage their health, and health providers do not spend additional time and resources addressing issues that may have been addressed in the first visit.