Health Coaching to Improve Self-Management in Thoracic Transplant Candidates


About this study

Ability to adhere to complex medical regimens is critical to achieving successful transplant outcomes, as non-adherent patients suffer graft failure and death following transplantation. Since potential recipients greatly exceed organ availability, identification of candidates who will adhere to complex post-transplant regimens is critically important and emphasized by practice guidelines. When selecting candidates for transplant, physicians try to subjectively predict post-transplant adherence because, although tools exist to measure current adherence, tools that reliably predict future adherence are lacking. Despite rigorous medical and psychosocial screening pretransplant, non-adherence rates are high following transplant. Therefore, the current approach for predicting future non-adherence is suboptimal, subjective, and greatly needs strategies for improvement.

Pre-transplant self-management abilities represent a marker of future adherence post-transplant. Assessing self-management as a means for predicting future adherence has been largely overlooked. Self-management is defined as "taking responsibility for one's own behavior and well-being" and consists of three management tasks: medical condition, emotions, and social roles. Self-management ability can be measured. However, self-management has not been systematically studied in heart and lung transplant patients. Fostering self-management abilities may improve post-transplant outcomes by optimizing not only adherence, but also proven pretransplant risk factors (e.g. frailty and obesity).Self-management abilities may be improved via behavioral interventions such as health coaching.Self-management represents a measurable criterion that could be utilized in pre-transplant screening and serve as a point of intervention for optimizing adherence and pre-transplant risk factors.The overall objective of the proposed research is to improve the knowledge gap regarding self-management (and thereby adherence) in transplant by qualitatively and quantitatively studying patient factors associated with self-management and testing an intervention that may improve self-management.

The investigators hypothesize: Individualized health coaching including strategies to address poor resilience, coping with uncertainty, frailty, and/or negative affect will be an effective therapeutic strategy at improving self-management while in the pre-transplant state.

Specific Aim: To test whether transplant candidates who receive pre transplant health coaching have greater improvement in self-management abilities.

The investigators will conduct a randomized, controlled pilot trial testing the effectiveness of health coaching versus usual care in a heart and lung transplant cohort on self-management abilities (SMAS-30).

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Aged 18 years or older.
  • Able and willing to consenting to research.
  • Listed (active and temporarily inactive) or deferred for lung or heart transplantation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Under 18 years of age.
  • Non-English speaking, non-verbal or extremely hard of hearing.


Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Cassie Kennedy, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Pulmonary Clinical Research Unit

(800) 753-1606

More information


Publications are currently not available

Mayo Clinic Footer