• 12th June 2021

How To Use Language Of Change To Motivate Patients?

Nurse Discussing Records With Senior Female Patient During Home Visit Sitting On Sofa Reassuring

The success of health treatment is not only based on choosing the right professional but also taking into account the patient’s motivation to follow the instructions. A beneficial technique to support the doctor-patient relationship and strengthen the commitment to treatment is to modify how we communicate with patients by applying the so-called “language of change” techniques.

Many people experience “procrastination,” meaning the pathological procrastination of essential tasks like visiting medical supply store online, and have difficulty maintaining (self) motivation. On the other hand, other people have difficulty motivating themselves if the benefits are not short-term; if they have to invest effort in something that does not bring immediate benefits, they are more likely to fail in achieving their goal.

The above problems can also apply to patients who are under some medical treatment. Sometimes, even if the diagnosis is correct, and the best treatment is applied, it will not be effective if the patient does not follow the specialist’s recommendations and indications. Many health problems require changes in habits and lifestyle, so these are permanent changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet or being more physically active.

Why Support The Patient Using The Language Of Change?

The main goals of developing the language of exchange with patients are:

Strengthen Patient Motivation and Commitment

As we have already mentioned, the fact that a patient follows medical indications in their daily life will directly impact their treatment, especially in the case of chronic diseases or those requiring permanent lifestyle changes.

Coping With the Positive Effects Of Change

The patient cannot always see how the application of these changes or treatment will influence their future, such as preventive procedures, which reduce the risks of having to undergo surgery in the future.

Be Aware Of What Can Happen If We Don’t Make Changes

Often, we feel that when we do not do something, the only thing that can happen is that we stay as we are. In health, the failure to follow a treatment or medical indications can lead to a worsening of health. An example of worsening could be when shyness or lack of social skills leads to social phobia or when a lack of physical activity goes beyond back pain and ends with the need for surgery. It is worthwhile for you, as a health specialist, to guide your patients in this regard, showing not only the benefits of following the treatment but also the harm of not following them.

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