Implementing a chronic disease self-management program into China: The Happy Life Club™

Colette Joy Browning, Hui Yang, Tuohong Zhang, Anna Kristina Chapman, Shuo Liu, Joanne Enticott, Shane Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


China is experiencing population aging, increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and reductions in the frequency of healthy lifestyle behaviors. In response to these significant transitions, China is implementing major reforms in health care services with a focus on strengthening primary health care. In this paper, we describe a 12-month diabetes management program, the Happy Life Club™ (HLC™), implemented in a primary health care setting in Beijing, that uses doctor and nurse health coaches trained in behavior change techniques and motivational interviewing (MI). This paper reports the results of this pilot study and discusses issues involved in the implementation of Chronic Diseases Self-Management Programs in China. The intervention group showed improvements in HbA1c levels at 6 months and both the control and intervention groups showed reductions in waist circumference over time. Systolic blood pressure improved over time in the intervention group. The intervention group showed improvement in quality of life across the intervention period and both groups showed decreases in psychological distress across the intervention. Doctor visits increased between baseline and 6 months, but there was no change in doctor visits between 6 and 12 months for both groups. The effects were modest, and further investigations are required to evaluate the long-term impact of health coach approaches in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Issue numberAPR
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015


  • China
  • Chronic disease self-management
  • Diabetes
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Older people

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