Teach-Back

It is important to ensure that patients have processed the information provided and discussed.

 

The teach-back method is when the provider asks the patient to repeat back what has been discussed. This technique for confirming understanding is when the provider has the patient re-state the most important messages in their own words.

The teach-back method: 

  • allows the patient to integrate the information they have just heard

  • increases the likelihood of the patient and provider reaching a shared understanding

  • improves adherence with treatment plans and health outcomes

Using the teach-back method early in the decision-making process will help ensure that a patient has the opportunity to understand their options and is making informed choices.

This can feel awkward or even patronizing, so it is best to phrase the teach-back request in such a way that the provider takes the responsibility on themselves.

Examples

“We have discussed so many different things today, I would like to be sure I was clear. Can you tell me what you will be doing to prevent heavy periods with your Copper IUD?”

"We have gone over several different treatment options for you today and things can get really confusing, so can you tell me what your understanding is about your treatment options?"

Los Angeles, CA
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