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Physicians Should Consider Alternative Educational Modalities to Best Serve Patients

Patients have differing preferences for how they wish to receive medical instructions. In a recent study published in Cutis, authors surveyed patients to determine their preferred educational modality and then questioned whether they received that type of instruction after their visit. Regardless of demographic variables, the preferred method of learning was verbal instruction (92%) and 97% of the patients did receive verbal instruction during their appointments. However, of the patients that preferred written instruction (WI), demonstration (DM), or Internet resources (IR), less than 50% received their preference during the visit.

These results suggest that there is a need to ask patients about how they prefer to receive information and to make efforts to provide alternate modalities at each visit. Though the sample was small, the results are consistent with previous research that found physicians often underestimate how much information patients want to receive. Identifying patients’ educational needs may increase satisfaction with the clinical visit. The authors state, “taking advantage of technology or providing handouts with Internet links for patient education may help satisfy unmet educational needs.”

By: Wendy Meltzer, MPH

Source: Cutis

Adapted from the original article.

[image by Ky]