Are Your Patients Reluctant to Ask Questions?

Last update: October 2, 2020

If patients seem reluctant to ask questions about recommended treatment options, you can help them become more active participants in their health and wellness by recognizing clues that they may not understand the information that has been shared.

The American College of Preventive Medicine says care providers can use the SIMPLE verbal scripts when interacting with patients:

S = Simplify the regimen and make sure the patient understands each step.

I = Impart knowledge and encourage members to share in the decision-making process.

M = Modify beliefs and behavior by reviewing the risks of noncompliance and the potential rewards associated with adherence.

P = Provide communication and build trust by allowing patients to share their thoughts and experiences without interruption or comment.

L = Leave the bias and create a patient-centered communication style that encourages open and honest dialogue.

E = Evaluate adherence at every visit through self-reports or by measuring serum or urine drug levels.

Taking steps to enhance care provider and patient communication should serve to empower patients to take ownership of their condition and encourage and promote adherence to the treatment plan.