Enabling Self-management of a Chronic Condition through Patient-centered Coaching: A Case of an mHealth Diabetes Prevention Program for Older Adults

Heewon Kim, Cristopher Tietsort, Karlee Posteher, Andreas Michaelides, Tatiana Toro-Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patient-centered communication (PCC) by healthcare professionals can contribute to enacting and facilitating patients’ self-management of chronic health conditions. This study investigates the emerging patterns of PCC that occur in an mHealth-based diabetes prevention program for older adults. The analysis of user-coach communication data during the 16-week period of the program revealed four PCC strategies employed by coaches: (a) triggering reflections on users’ routinized habits, (b) jointly determining a measurable health goal, (c) facilitating self-evaluations on recent behavior change, and (d) tailoring programs to adapt to users’ lifestyle and health status. To advance these strategies, coaches utilized various mHealth features that helped them (a) engage in data-driven coaching, (b) increase situational awareness of users’ health conditions and routines, (c) provide continuous support to users through regular and spontaneous in-app chats, and (d) foster user autonomy and engagement. The findings extend implications for developing technology-enabled healthcare practice to enhance self-management of chronic illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Communication
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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