Once you have assessed your patient's needs, concerns, readiness to learn, preferences, support, and possible barriers to learning, you will need to:
The first step is to assess the patient’s current knowledge about his or her condition. Some patients need time to adjust to new information, master new skills, or make short- or long-term lifestyle changes.
Your patient's preferences can guide your choice of education materials and methods.
With any type of patient education, you will likely need to cover:
There are many ways to deliver patient education. Examples include one-on-one teaching, demonstrations, and analogies or word pictures to explain concepts.
You can also use one or more of the following teaching tools:
In some cases, it may not be possible to get the right materials for your patients' needs. For example, it may be hard to find materials on new treatments in certain languages or on sensitive topics. Instead, you may try having a discussion with the patient on sensitive topics or creating your own tools for the patient's needs.
Communicating effectively in patient teaching: enhancing patient adherence. In: Falvo DR. Effective Patient Education: A Guide to Increased Adherence. 4th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2011: chap 8.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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