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But other than friends and family, are doctors the only ones who can encourage us to adopt healthy behaviors?

Health coaches can support healthier SG goals

health coachAn overlooked but essential part of the equation when considering how other roles can support and complement physicians.

Psychologists often cite self-determination theory when considering behavior change. Self-determination theory is a well-established framework that states that goals are more likely to be achieved through internal motivation rather than external pressure or coercion.

For your inner motivation to thrive, it must meet three essential psychological needs: quit smoking (rather than feeling forced into family), competence (confidence in one’s ability to succeed), and relationships (feeling cared for and supported by those around them).

Research shows that when these core needs are met, we are driven by inner motivation to stick to oyour behavior.

With this in mind, we can imagine utilizing non-medical professionals to help guide and motivate us to be successful in health-related but ultimately lifestyle changes. For some chronic diseases, lifestyle changes can reverse disease progression rather than just be managed like drugs.

If health is more than the biomedical aspects of disease, the social determinants of health should not be ignored. Commentary: Need a healthier SG? Look out for health coaches, not just doctors

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