Health Coaching Highlighted as Key to Management of Chronic Disease


MONTREAL AND TORONTO – The Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes (IOHO) and Sanofi announced today the release of a white paper entitled “Health Coaching for Chronic Conditions; “Engaging and Supporting Patients to Self-Manage”. The paper brings together essential sources of knowledge that underscore the necessity for health coaching, in addition to education, to facilitate optimal self-management of chronic disease and reduce overall healthcare costs.

Currently, chronic diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer) are the leading cause of death and disability throughout the developed world, and in Canada account for 89% of all deaths. They also are responsible for significant cost to the health care system. Diabetes alone had an estimated annual cost of $6.7 billion in 2011. “Patients inherently want to self-manage their chronic conditions,” said Durhane Wong-Rieger, President of the Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes, “but they may experience many barriers, such as lack of motivation, unrealistic goals, or competing priorities, which interfere with the ability to adhere to prescribed treatment or to make lifestyle changes. Health care systems, designed primarily for acute care, are generally not set up to support self-care, and healthcare professionals often lack the tools and training. And that’s why health coaching is so important.”

“At Sanofi, we are constantly looking for solutions for physicians and patients that allow them to manage disease better,” said Stan Glezer, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Sanofi Canada. “We know education alone is insufficient to sustain long-term behavior changes. We have witnessed the effectiveness of health coaching as a means for healthcare professionals to engage and support patient self-management and the impact on patients to achieve better health outcomes and, ultimately, to use health resources more appropriately.”

Earlier this year, the IOHO and Sanofi announced a partnership to customize a training program for Canadian healthcare practitioners who want to help their patients better manage chronic health conditions. The program, recently introduced at the 1st Canadian Summit on Coaching for Self-Management Support, has three components: skills training, enrolment in a community of practice, and certification. Certification is a pre-requisite to the “train-the-trainers” program to be offered next year. The IOHO health coaching program, now being offered to healthcare professionals across Canada, brings together essential skills of motivational interviewing, solution-focused goal setting, and cognitive behavior therapy, into a five-step coaching framework.

“We have been delighted at the response to the program. Healthcare professionals increasingly recognize the value of empowering patients to self-manage and appreciate the practical training and the opportunity to participate in a community of practice for on-going skills development,” said Wong-Rieger.

Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes The Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes is a not-for-profit organization based in Toronto, Ontario. We bring together individuals and organizations with the commitment, experiences, and expertise to bring the vision of optimal health to reality. The Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes serves as a catalyst and enabler for patient-centered programs, education, research and advocacy to improve care, treatment and support for all persona at risk for or living with health conditions. Our partners include patient organizations, healthcare institutions, government and industry.

Sanofi Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health.

Sanofi is represented in Canada by the pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, and by the vaccines company Sanofi Pasteur Limited, based in Toronto, Ontario. Together they employ more than 2,000 people across the country. With combined R&D investments of $159.2 million in 2010, they are leaders in Canada’s biopharmaceutical sector, a critical knowledge-based industry that generates jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.

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