As much as 40% to 80% of medical information that a patient receives is forgotten immediately and nearly half of the retained information is incorrect.
The Teach-Back Method is an evidence-based Health Literacy intervention aiming for a shared decision-making and to close the communication gap between clinician and patient. It is a communication technique used to help patients remember and understand the information provided, using their own words. It creates an opportunity for communication in which the health professional gives information, and then asks the patient to respond and confirm their understanding before adding any new information. It can also help the clinician identify explanations and communication strategies that are most commonly misunderstood by patients. It involves asking patients to recall and then explain or demonstrate the information discussed during an interaction with the health team.
It is well known that health personnel have limited time in their consultations. Nevertheless, the Teach-Back Method may take some time getting used to, but studies show that once established as part of a routine, it does not take longer to perform.
Not all situations are appropriate for using the Teach-Back Method, it is most suited to:
Health professionals are recommended to start slowly and gain confidence in the method. If patients cannot remember or accurately repeat what was asked, clarify the information or directions and allow them to teach the information back again. One should reinforce the Teach-Back Method until the patients are able to correctly describe in their own words what they are going to do, without parroting back what the staff said.
The Teach-Back Methods in pediatrics is viewed by parents and clinicians as a useful and important strategy. Studies have found an increased engagement of parents during pediatric clinical encounters and an increase in the display of negative affection by parents toward providers.
Recommendations and considerations with the use of the Teach-Back Method with children and families: