Peer coaching for patients

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53 , No. 8 , October 2011 , Pages 431 News

Peer Coaching, a program delivered by the Patient Voices Network, is now part of the Ministry of Health’s Prescription for Health initiative supporting family physicians in making referrals for patients seeking healthier lifestyles. Prescription for Health was developed by the Ministry in partnership with the BCMA’s General Practice Services Committee.

Studies show that a structured peer-support program can improve self-management skills, sustained behavior changes, and heightened self-esteem.

The Peer Coaching program pairs a volunteer coach with an individual patient looking to make a healthy living change. The patient’s goal must be aligned with one of the four areas targeted by Prescription for Health: quitting or reducing smoking, making healthier food choices, increasing physical activity, or managing weight.

Coaches support participants through six confidential telephone sessions, helping them set goals and develop an action plan. Coaches and participants are continually assessed through the Patient Voices Network to ensure a good working match and realistic expectations of their time together. 

Physicians can access a referral form at www.patientvoices.ca/peer-coaching, or direct their patients to the site for information.

. Peer coaching for patients . BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 8, October, 2011, Page(s) 431 - News.



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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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