Continuous coaching with Fitbit Plus allows targeted conversations to occur around real-time health actions.
With this coaching capability, you may find your participants' need to connect for real-time coaching, by phone or in-person, will change. This article will help you consider how to blend Fitbit Plus with your existing coaching practice.
Introducing Participants to Fitbit Plus
Depending on the complexity of the participant, coaches find initial encounters ranging from 15 to 60 minutes are enough for them to achieve the following:
- Build rapport between participant and coach: define a vision, identify participant strengths, and values with a Motivation Statement
- If part of your practice, use the Health Profile in the Me page of the participant application to support your participant in identifying potential areas for health behavior change.
- Establish a starter Health Action Plan for your participant:
- Include a 3-month outcome goal as a health action (Example: Weight, 1x/week - Goal: 10 lbs.)
- Include a weekly or 1 month stepping-stone process goal as a Health Action (Example: Grocery Shopping, 1x/week)
- Establish tracking preferences to guide Display Settings and Notifications
- Identify participant-centered expectations for communication via the messenger between visits
- Orient participant to Fitbit Plus and support mobile app download
- Using the Calendar page, create a Plan Check-In in 1-4 weeks to review and iterate upon how the Health Action Plan is working towards goals. This may be conducted via the Fitbit Plus messenger, over the phone, or at an upcoming coaching visit.
Following-Up with Fitbit Plus
Most participants choose to track and message using Fitbit Plus, especially if you practice these tips when introducing them to the tool.
In addition to holding formal Plan Check-Ins with your participant, you may provide coaching or iterations to the Health Action Plan with your participant ad-hoc via the messenger. The formal Plan Check-In allows you to define progress-to-goals and make adjustments in a more structured setting. Here are some suggested guidelines for Plan Check-Ins:
What to Do:
Plan Check-In Goals
How to Check-In:
Keep a Flexible Format
Some participants may ask or benefit from more (or less!) frequent check-ins. They are never meant to replace the spontaneous, generative learning that comes from between visit communication in Fitbit Plus. When in doubt about your participants' preferences, ask!
If participants don't want to track behavior or don't have technology
Here's how to modify usual care for participants who aren't quite ready for Fitbit Plus:
- Set up a Health Action Plan (card) Anyway. The Health Action Plan (card) is the participant's care plan, regardless of their tracking status. Even if the participant is not using technology, it should reflect your coaching as much as possible.
- Enter data for participants if they meet you in person or if they report it over the phone to model the use of tracking. Once entered, you can use this information to maximize use of the sort filters and show participants visuals to help them understand their progress. If participants start reporting data through the messenger, ask permission to teach them how to track data on their own.
- Use the "Not Tracking" filter in the Enrollment Dashboard to view and manage your participants who aren't using technology. Then use the "Plan Updated" and/or "Plan Created" filters to identify individuals with recent changes who may need more support.
- Continue to schedule Plan-Check Ins (or reminders) through Fitbit Plus's Calendar, even if your participant can't see it. This keeps participants not using technology as visible to you as those who are.
- Always keep the door open for Fitbit Plus. You may notice it is more difficult to evaluate your coaching impact with participants who are not tracking. Share this discrepancy, while maintaining choice, by sharing the ways in which you feel Fitbit Plus may benefit the participant. Partial tracking or just using the messenger are often places to start with participants who aren't sure about Fitbit Plus.
- Open your participant's account whenever you are working with them. This will log time spent with your participant and prompt you to document care using the Plan Notes and Coaches' Notes features. If your participant is messaging but not tracking with Fitbit Plus, send a summarizing note after any face-to-face work through the messenger to model and encourage its use.
We've seen participants change their minds about technology as they become more rooted in their change process, and as they strengthen their relationship with you. When participants become ready or able to use Fitbit Plus for the first time, they log-in to see their entire history and the acts of collaboration coaches have been taking on their behalf. This moment often turns into one of inspiration as participants dive right in and continue growing their care plans with you by their side!