Evaluating effectiveness of patient counseling, teach back versus standard method

Mary R. Mathew, Linu Mohan, Mammen Paul, Mahira Maideen, Liya Jose, Minnu Ommanakuttan


Background: The aim of the study was to assess memory retention of new prescription education by comparing Teach back method and standard counseling method. And also to evaluate association of age, sex, drug use in past and education in memory retention.

Methods: A prospective experimental study was carried out for a period of six months. Eligible subjects visiting pulmonary medicine outpatient department were screened and grouped into standard groups and teach back group. Patients in the standard group are taught eight counseling points about the drugs by one way dialogue method and asked at the end if there are any questions. while patients in the teach back method builds on the standard method by asking three open ended questions to recall what was taught and correcting any misunderstandings by two way dialogue method.

Results: The demographic information (age, sex, education, current prescription use) are collected from both groups. The post counseling score is assessed by evaluator using a scoring sheet. Scores were analyzed using Mann Whitney U test Teach back group shows statistically significant (p value = 0.0001) increase in score compared to standard group. The mean value of teach back scoring is 6.28 while that of standard is 4.44.

Conclusions: All the demographic parameters (Age, sex, drug use in past three months and education) do not show any significant association with scoring and memory retention (p value >0.05 for chi square test). The group that received teach-back method of counseling showed a significant improvement in patient knowledge and memory retention.


Health literacy, Patient counseling, Pulmonary medicine, Patient education, Teach-back

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