Nurse Use of Teach Back Technique in Care Provider Instruction

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The Ohio State University

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Abstract Communication between care providers and caregivers is an essential and critical component to quality and safety in patient care and outcomes. Many individuals find that understanding health information is a challenge. Individual factors such as literacy skills, health knowledge, culture and experience contribute to the challenge. Health care system issues such as the knowledge, skills and experience of health professionals, and the level of complexity and novelty of medical terms and technical language, also contribute to the challenge. Approaches to better align caregiver practices with the public’s abilities are required when communicating health information. Teach back technique is shown to improve communication, comprehension, and outcomes (HHS, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ] 2011). The purpose of this project was to develop and implement an education program for nurses on effective communication with patients and families with a focus on teach back and to include rationale to motivate change in practice. The rationale was the prevalence of health literacy and the effect health literacy has on health outcomes. The intervention demonstrated increased use of teach back technique at discharge instruction by 12% over a five week post intervention interval. The project represents a beginning in spreading the use of teach back technique and understanding the prevalence and impact of health illiteracy amongst care providers in an academic, pediatric healthcare system.



Teach back technique, Health literacy, Communication, Health outcomes, Evidence based practice, Nursing care