Inform the patient

  • The medical condition is called “...”
  • Explain the pathophysiology
  • Consequences / complications of the condition! May happen again, may affect ability to do certain things, ...
  • Investigations that might be needed to conclude the condition OR to look for complications

Preventive measures: e.g. modify the poly-pharmacy ...

Treatment: life style / medications (side effects / alternatives / consequences of not receiving treatment)

Offer more info: brochures / web sites / support groups

Break every 30-60 seconds (check & recheck that your patient understands); ask the patient: does that make sense? Is this acceptable? Reasonable? Is it clear?

General tips for the counselling sessions:

  • Make it interactive not lecturing
  • At the beginning ask whether your patient has a specific concern
  • Do not mislead your patient; if you are not sure about anything, say that this is a very good question and you are going to check the answer for him.

Whenever you hear “car accident”:

  • I am sorry to hear that!
  • Was anyone hurt? I am sorry for that
  • Were you driving or a passenger?

If you do not know the answer to a question:

  • This is a good question/point, I will check it for you and we will discuss it next visit.
  • It is better to refer you to the specialist; there are too many points regarding this issue that it will be better to discuss it with the specialist.
    A good statement to use in different counselling situations: always in medicine, we balance the benefits and the side effects.