Beyond behavior: the coach’s perspective on technology in health coaching

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Rapid innovations in electronic healthcare and behavior tracking systems are challenging health coaches (dietitians, personal trainers, etc.) to rethink their traditional roles and healthcare practices. At the same time, many current e-coaching systems have been developed without explicitly incorporating the healthcare professionals’ perspective into the design process. In the current paper, we present three consecutive qualitative studies, starting from the health coach’s perspective on successful coaching, progressively zooming in on the potential role and impact of technology as part of the coaching process. Our main finding is that coaches are concerned that introducing technology in the coaching process puts too much emphasis on behavioral information, lowering the attention for the client’s lived experience, while understanding those experiences is key for successful coaching. We summarize our insights in a multi-channel communication model and draw implications for the design of supporting technology in health coaching.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019


Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Behavior change support
  • Coach-client relationship
  • E-coaching
  • Health coaching
  • MHealth
  • Patient-generated data
  • Self-tracking
  • Technology acceptance


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