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Health Coaches May Help Chronic Disease Patients

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Disability Help Group

A major part of living with a chronic disease such as diabetes or hypertension is learning how to properly manage the condition. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to poor kidney and heart health, circulation problems, and slow wound healing. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to fatigue and cardiovascular complications.

While doctors do their best to provide guidance and help to their patients with chronic diseases, it is ultimately up to the patients themselves to follow those orders. A recent study, published in Population Health Management, looked at the real-world application of health coaches in helping patients with chronic diseases better care for themselves.

In the trial, a large, multispecialty clinic hired two unlicensed health coaches with healthcare experience to provide chronic disease patients with one-on-one care. The researchers, who hailed from several health research institutes, evaluated the referral process the clinic used to assign a coach, how frequently the clinic assigned the coaches to patients, and how effective the coaches were in improving the health of their patients.

While the patients who participated did not show direct improvement in biometric measurements (e.g., glucose levels, A1C, blood pressure), they did show improvement in self-care. Physicians reported a reduced workload with those patients and agreed that patients were following their care plans more thoroughly.

Researchers believe that with better referral processes and easier access to health coaches, long-term work with a coach could greatly benefit patients with chronic diseases.

Uncontrolled Chronic Disease Can Lead to Disability

When a chronic disease causes you to become unable to work and earn a living, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Disability Help Group is a group of advocates who helps claimants with their application for benefits or appeals over denied benefits.

Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates.