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Choose your words wisely

In this video we show how to formulate questions correctly.
12.1
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: OK, so you have gone through with my colleagues everything that’s going to happen when you are admitted, what happens in the surgery and your recovery, and what I do as an occupational therapist to support you in your discharge home. So is there anything else you want to address in this visit today?
36.9
MR JAY: No, I don’t think so.
49.5
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: OK, so you’ve gone through with my colleagues all that’s going to happen when you are admitted, what happens in the surgery, your recovery, and what I do as an occupational therapist to support you in your discharge home. So is there something else you want to address in this visit today?
73.6
MR JAY: Yes. Well, actually there is. You have been very helpful in explaining to me what to do in the house and about the handrails in the bathroom and about the toilet seat, but I’m wondering, how can I handle the steps up to the front door of my house?

Open questions can enable patients to ask questions.

Another very clear example of how question formulation can have an impact on the health professional and patient conversation can be found in this article.

In this English language example two question types were compared in an experimental design:

  1. “Is there anything else you want to address in the visit today?” (ANY condition) and
  2. “Is there something else you want to address in the visit today?” (SOME condition).

Main conclusion: Patients’ unmet concerns can be dramatically reduced by a simple inquiry framed in the SOME form. Both the learning and implementation of the intervention require very little time.

Can you think of other ways to use language as a tool to meet patients’ unmet concerns and needs and to open up a discussion between patient and health professional? Feel free to share your ideas in the discussion field and discuss with the other learners.

This article is from the free online

Working with Patients with Limited Health Literacy

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