Clinical Health Coaching for Long Term Condition Management: COPD – Story 2

This 62 year old gentleman, Robert, has had a diagnosis of COPD for four years which requires oxygen. He also has a stoma and is overweight. Due to the COPD and stoma he had lost confidence and was reluctant to go out far. As a result he had not been able to carry out his hobby of fishing which he missed very much.

The initial call with his personal clinical health coach, in December 2012 highlighted that no exercise and an unhealthy diet were contributing to his obesity. Initially Robert was very reluctant to engage with any behaviour change/goal setting such as exercise and diet modification. Gradually over time we discussed information on how increasing exercise and improving diet could lead to weight loss, which may enable him to become more active and improve COPD symptoms. This included information on the “cycle of inactivity” in COPD.

Initially small goals were set for Robert to achieve in his home as he was very resistant to attending pulmonary rehabilitation or similar programmes. Examples include using pedals 1-2 mins per day and hoovering the front room. He found his stamina improved over time where he was taking less breaks to “get his breath back”. After some time we again discussed pulmonary rehabilitation and he now felt confident to attend this.

Robert has since completed a pulmonary rehabilitation course at his local acute hospital and has also recently started going fishing again which he is really pleased with. Robert also has better compliance with his use of oxygen, which previously he avoided using, which has helped him with activity. He has now been on a step down programme since October 2014 and is managing his condition well.