How to Talk About Research So Your Patients Understand

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The famous writer and playwright, George Bernard Shaw, famously said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This is true for all communication but especially when it comes to educating your patients about spinal decompression. You can talk and talk, but if you don’t make a special effort to ensure their understanding they’ll be lost. Next time you are explaining spinal decompression research to your patients, try these tips to make sure they understand what you mean: 1.       Don’t use jargon. Every industry has its own set of specialized terms. Just like you wouldn’t understand what a business manager of a turkey processing plant was talking about, your patients won’t understand you if you rely on jargon.  Examples would be words such as cervical or lumbar spine, subluxation, osteoarthritis, centralization etc… 2.       Define medical terms.  Define your terms, even if you think your patient is following you. 3.       Use examples.  A concrete example can go a long way to help your patient understand the spinal decompression process.  An example of this would be how covering a hole in your wall from termite damage with a picture is similar to what pills and shots do for most pain.  It will cover it up however the problem is still there.  Eventually you will have to actually do something about the problem. 4.       Use diagrams.  If you have them, use pictures to show your patients what is going on inside their bodies.  We recommend getting pictures that are large enough for older patients to see and having them framed in your consultation room.  It’s worth buying them if you haven’t already! 5.       Pause and check for understanding. No one likes to be dictated to. Stop talking here and there and ask questions so your patient knows that you care about them. Educating your patients is one of the best ways to ensure that they get great long-term results from their spinal decompression—just make sure you’re doing it right! Want more info on how to take your chiropractic clinic to the next level? Download our FREE report, “19 Reasons to Add Spinal Decompression to Your Practice” today!

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