Knowledge is power and effectively communicating knowledge is powerful! The art of effective communication is an imperative skill for healthcare professionals. The field of medicine is dynamic, making it vital for professionals to not only stay abreast of the continuum of health information, but to ensure the health literacy of clients.
Medscape’s evidence-based article outlines effective communication strategies for clinicians as it reviews myths and facts regarding bioidentical hormone therapy. “Beneficent persuasion” is a technique that engages the patient’s existing framework of understanding to encourage the best decisions for the long term. Suggested strategies include:
- Vivid depictions: use of specific cases and stories to demonstrate another patient’s story and outcomes;
- Framing: explaining benefits first, then the risks, then repeating the benefits;
- Regret: asking patients how they would feel if they missed an opportunity for the best treatment and outcome; and
- Refocusing: allowing patients to imagine positive outcomes and a better view of the future.
The cross-cultural care model is another type of communication strategy, where the clinician first understands the patient’s health belief model prior to negotiating and framing treatment recommendations that align with the patient’s belief system.