Benefits of using teach-back in the healthcare setting
- Teach-back provides deeper insight into the difficulties someone may experience in understanding information, and in applying that information to their own circumstances.
- Teach-back also provides real feedback to healthcare workers about the way they communicate, and about the assumptions they make.
- Teach-back allows open discussions with people, enabling health practitioners to tailor information to the individual needs and abilities of their clients.
- Teach-back enables people to be more engaged in self-managing their health. Case studies have demonstrated that people are better able to:
- understand information about managing their health
- apply this information in their daily lives.
- Teach-back may lead to a stronger relationship between healthcare practitioners and their clients because it promotes a conversation, which in turn can lead to building rapport and a level of comfort and trust. It is important that what we say is clear and concise and that we base our interactions on trust, understanding, empathy and cooperation.
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Testimonials about teach-back.
(What the Ophelia Victoria project found)
Allowed health workers to focus on what the client needs to know
Alerted health workers to the importance of tailoring information to the client’s strengths
Knowing they would be asked to ‘teach-back’ increased clients’ engagement
Using teach-back built rapport between client and healthcare worker
“Even if the client has got literacy issues, they must have developed other skills, so we‘ve got to work out how they’ve managed and adapt our teaching to that. Not our way, their way.”
“I don’t put them down, but I found out how they’ve managed it. How it worked for them. How did that go, so if you had known that do you think it would help next time? Taking them along the path so they actually engage with the fact that it might be a benefit to them. They actually need to get something out of it. If they don’t get anything out of it, why bother doing any of it? Because we can sit there and lecture them, but that doesn’t make them buy into it.”
“Particularly with one person that she has been pretty tricky to get much improvement with. But I think she has been actually listening more attentively because she has input into it and she knows that I will be checking in at the end. You know, what are the next steps and things. And so over the last few months or so, she is more engaged and she is taking more notice. And she is actually doing a lot better.”