Course Outline:

Communicating about Risk with Patients

Course Outline:

Communicating about Risk with Patients

Course Title

Communicating about Risk with Patients

Course Duration

Half Day Course

Introduction

Clinical care is risky. Untreated illness carries risk, treatments carry risk and screening procedures bring risks. For a patient to know if a treatment, procedure or screening test is worthwhile, they need to understand these risks, as well as having a clear idea of the chances of benefiting from the intervention in the first place.

The precise communication of risk, in terms that patients can understand, is not an easy task. Research shows that clinicians rarely achieve it. Either we dodge the issue altogether (“I’m not too worried about that in your case”) or we use imprecise words (“the risk is very small”).

In some consultations, this is fine – some patients are happy with this approach. But given the increased emphasis on management of chronic diseases and fully informed consent for surgery, treatment and screening, it will pay us to be able to offer enhanced accuracy.

Course Description

We discuss how people process risk and make decisions; help participants to reflect on their own experiences and encourage them to examine some of the important messages, moving to rehearsal of the specific skill areas that will most repay development. In particular, we introduce our “100 people” or “1000 people like you ©” charts – for the simple and informative representation of absolute risks (and benefits). We can also personalise this seminar to incorporate the practising of any tools or models that you may wish to use.

We balance brief presentation, focused discussion, group work and skills rehearsal – supported by a referenced workbook and moving briskly to retain learner engagement. Participants will leave with their skills enhanced and with a new tool to use in these conversations with their patients.