In the past decade, diabetes health coaching, also referred to as diabetes coaching, has emerged as a patient-centered intervention to help individuals with type 2 diabetes gain independence with self-management. This study explores the perceived experience of receiving telephone-based diabetes health coaching among adults living with type 2 diabetes.


A qualitative exploration with an interpretive descriptive design was carried out. Participants from the intervention group of a larger randomized controlled trial who had received a telephone-based diabetes coaching intervention throughout 1 year were invited to participate in a telephone interview with open-ended questions.


Twelve participants were interviewed, and four major themes emerged: 1) adapting to ongoing challenges with type 2 diabetes, reflecting how coaching helped individuals integrate diabetes into their daily lives by addressing misconceptions, improving knowledge, encouraging awareness, and easing the transition from oral medication to insulin injections; 2) heightened mindfulness of diabetes-related wellness, capturing the greater attention participants gave to their overall well-being and self-management behaviors; 3) behavior change guided by the participant, highlighting the differences in participants’ motivation, readiness to make changes, and external factors that influenced their ability to make self-management behavior changes; and 4) valuing a supportive relationship, illustrating that most participants felt that the unique coach-client relationship was reliable, holistic, nonjudgmental, and encouraging.


Participants found diabetes coaching to be positive and highlighted the various ways it was able to support their ability to manage diabetes.

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