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How to use the teach-back method

This article explains how to use teach-back.
Doctor in chair talking to patient sitting on hospital bed
© Gustavo Fring via Pexels CC0
In the teach-back method, at the end of a consultation the health professional asks a question to check that they have explained the issue in a way that the patient has understood.

The questions may vary, depending on the patient and the context. Here are some examples:

  • I want to be sure I explained everything clearly.
  • Can you explain it back to me so I can be sure I did?
  • What will you tell your husband about the changes we made to your medicines today?
  • We covered a lot today about prediabetes, and I want to make sure that I explained things well. Can you tell me how you would describe it to a friend?
  • I want to be sure that I clearly described some of the steps you can take to prevent type-2 diabetes. Is there one thing you can do this week to get started?

Here are some interesting sources to check if you want to learn more about the teach-back method:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

© IMPACCT consortium
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Working with Patients with Limited Health Literacy

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