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Teach-back and demonstrating understanding

Teach-back can also be tailored to situations where people are asked to use a piece of equipment or use a skill.
Professional explaining to patient how to use a piece of equipment
© IMPACCT consortium

Teach-back can also be tailored to situations where people are asked to use a piece of equipment or use a skill. An example would be a person that has been prescribed an inhaler for a respiratory problem, such as asthma.

Having demonstrated and shown the patient how to use an inhaler, a complex task, you can then turn to the patient and ask:

To make sure I have shown you clearly so that you can do this at home can you show me how you will use your inhaler?

This then is going further than the patient explaining back. This is the patient demonstrating the use of the inhaler – demonstrating understanding and applying the skill learnt.

It is very important that this is done in a sensitive way and the responsibility is with the health professional for the patients understanding. It is not a test of the patient.

© IMPACCT consortium
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Working with Patients with Limited Health Literacy

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