Effect of a Motivational Interviewing-Based Health Coaching on Quality of Life in Subjects With COPD

Hamid Rehman, Craig Karpman, Kristin Vickers Douglas, Roberto P Benzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Improving quality of life (QOL) is a key goal in the care of patients with COPD. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) has clearly been shown to improve QOL, but is not accessible to many eligible patients. There is a need for alternative programs designed to improve patient well-being that are accessible to all patients with COPD. Our goal was to pilot test a simple, telephone-based health-coaching intervention that was recently shown to decrease readmission among hospitalized COPD patients and stable COPD patients eligible for PR.

METHODS: Subjects received a 3-month intervention consisting of 10 health-coaching telephone calls based on motivational interviewing principles. Outcome measures included dyspnea level, measured by the modified Medical Research Council scale, and QOL, measured by the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire and a single-item general self-rated health status.

RESULTS: Fifty subjects with moderate to severe COPD were enrolled in the study. Forty-four subjects (86%) completed the study intervention. Dyspnea measured by the modified Medical Research Council score improved significantly after the intervention (P = .002). The domains of fatigue, emotional function, and mastery on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire and the single-item QOL question also improved significantly after the 3 months of health coaching (P = .001, P = .001, P = .007, and P = .03, respectively). Thirty-six (71%) subjects had a clinically meaningful improvement in at least 1 study end point (either in the severity of dyspnea or a domain of QOL). Thirty subjects (58%) had an improvement of ≥0.5 points, the minimum clinically important difference in at least 1 component of the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire.

CONCLUSIONS: A telephone-delivered motivational interviewing-based coaching program for COPD patients is a feasible, well-accepted (by both participants and providers), simple, and novel intervention to improve the well-being of patients with COPD. This pilot study provides insight into a possible alternative to a conventional PR program for patients with limited access to that program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1048
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • COPD
  • health coaching
  • health status
  • health-related quality of life
  • mMRC
  • motivational interviewing
  • physical status
  • pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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