Using the Teach-Back method. As you certainly already know, dear … | for CommunicateHealth | health literacy

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High: A cat-headed doodle talks to a doctor doodle via video chat. The doctor’s doodle asks, “Can you tell me the steps to take care of your cat’s head?” The other doodle says, “Sure. I’ll do the hokey-pokey first. Then I’ll turn around.” The doctor’s doodle replies, “Yes! That’s what it’s about!”

As you certainly already know, dear readers, we usually offer enlightened health tips for creating health education materials. But putting health literacy best practices into, well, the practice is not not more about writing. And we know that for many of you, face-to-face meetings are an important part of your job.

Teaching health information to someone in person — or by phone or zoom — gives you a key advantage over written materials: you can find out in real time if your audience understands the information you’re communicating, and then explain it in a way new if you don’t.

How, you ask? He teach-back method! It is a technique that health care providers and health educators can use to test understanding. And with the growing number of telehealth visits, where health literacy issues might be harder to spot, it can be very important to have a sound strategy in place to make sure you’re effectively explaining health information.

At its core, the learning process includes 4 steps:

1. Explain the information. Learn the exercise: use simple language, choose culturally familiar terms and examples, and focus on relevant action steps. If you’re explaining an action, for example, how to find allergens on a food label, show it if you can.

2. Check comprehension. This step is key because we know that people tend to say they understand health information even when they don’t really. So instead of asking, “Do you understand?”, Ask people to explain what you told them in their own words. Emphasize that you are not testing they but rather check how well you explained the information. Try something like this: “I know there was a lot of information and I want to make sure I explained everything correctly. Can you tell me in your own words what to do after this visit?

3. Re-explain if necessary. If your first explanation is not done, re-explain it in a new way. Try writing down the information you are giving, circling the key information in a booklet that you can take home or browse together on a web page.

4. Please check your understanding again. Ask people to explain it again in their own words. Focus on everything they struggled with the first time. You can also get creative here: If you’ve taught someone how to do something, such as using an inhaler, ask them to show you how to do it.

Conclusion: For face-to-face, telephone, and video health conversations, teaching is an easy and effective way to make sure people understand health information.

Tweet about it: For face-to-face or virtual convents, the teaching method is a great way to make sure people understand health information. @CommunicateHlth explains how to use it: https://bit.ly/3uQfiv3 #HealthLit #HealthComm





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