Medical healthcare providers can do better in terms of patient wellness by implementing a few motivational techniques that result in better health. However, the question is, how do physicians motivate their patients?
Patient Motivation Techniques for Health Improvement
Motivating patients to take their medications properly and follow the treatment plan for their injuries, illnesses, or well-care maintenance can be difficult. Many patients are naturally motivated, while others require extra motivation and engagement from their primary care physicians. Motivating and engaging patients can be challenging but using certain techniques can make the patient more comfortable. Here are some patient motivation techniques for health improvement: a better way for doctors to encourage their patients to live healthier lives.
Use handouts to educate patients
It’s no secret that humans prefer positive to negative stimuli. When it comes to healthy bodies, health professionals who use positive, encouraging, and inspiring messages rather than scare stories have a better chance of motivating patients. This practice is intuitively appealing and widely practiced.
According to research, positivity “improves mental abilities such as ‘creative thinking, cognitive flexibility, and information processing.’ The left prefrontal area of our brains, which becomes active when we are in a good mood, is also associated with reminding us of the good feelings we will experience when we achieve a long-term goal.
Physicians can give patients brochures about various health conditions. Give it to patients along with any important health statistics or tips. For example, seeing the rate of mortality from heart disease can motivate your patient to stick to their diet.
The use of images to motivate people to quit smoking has been studied in clinical research. Images of plaque in the coronary or carotid arteries have been used to try to induce a transformative, emotional learning experience that will motivate patients to change their unhealthy habits.
Stay in touch
One of the most important strategies for patient motivation is frequent follow-up. Physicians must ensure that they have set up regular follow-ups with their patients. It would be fantastic if healthcare providers could assign a receptionist to call or email the patient in between appointments to check in on them. Tell them they can call if they have any concerns or questions in between appointments. This will draw additional attention to them, increasing their motivation to take care of their health and keep you updated on what is going on in their life.
According to the study, the follow-ups have two major purposes: celebrating successes and problem-solving.
Patients are more likely to commit to their goals when doctors support them in their efforts, show concern for their progress, and celebrate their successes. Furthermore, when patients believe that their healthcare provider genuinely cares about them, they are more satisfied with their patient experience. Furthermore, healthcare practice may discover information that leads to overall service improvements while learning about specific concerns of its patients.
Continuous patient engagement can be difficult. However, modern technology can help in the process of increasing patient motivation through follow-ups. If patients have the option of answering a few questions about their progress before, during, or after an appointment with a doctor, they may share information that will aid doctors in the follow-up process.
Doctors can use smart technology to collect data, organize it, and then create a system to make follow-up easier. Creating a personal patient profile that includes individual information such as patient goals, concerns, and progress can assist health care providers in improving patient motivation and overall patient experience.
Get rid of obstacles
Problem-solving follow-ups assist patients in identifying obstacles to their goals, devising solutions to overcome them, and continuing the process rather than giving up. There are times when a patient has a cognitive or physical challenge that makes it difficult for them to adhere to the medication or treatment you have prescribed. It is possible that your patient does not understand the dosing instructions or medications or is completely unable to tolerate the size of the pill. Keep such points in mind and get rid of them to keep them motivated to improve their health.
Assign them homework.
You must ensure that your patients understand that their ability to cope with the illness is largely in their own hands. Explain what they need to do at home and assure them that you will check their progress and homework at the next appointment. You can achieve this by providing your patients with a diet or exercise journal in which they can record their progress regularly and bring it to you at each visit.
Community participation can be helpful
Suppose you are aware of any community services that can help your patient, provide them with relevant details and connect them. Sometimes all that is required is a little extra encouragement to keep the patient motivated in between appointments and to keep them on track with their healthy routines.
You can host a workshop and invite your patients to learn how to live with their medical conditions. What practitioners can do is find out about a few support groups for a particular health condition and encourage your patient to join one that is relevant to his condition.
For instance, if the practitioner’s job involves caring for many diabetic or cardiac patients, for whom diet is crucial for managing the disease, offer them a workshop on reading and understanding food labels so they will be aware of the risks and benefits.
Set simple goals
Some patients become demotivated when a goal seems unachievable. Make sure each patient’s goals are within reach. You are the one who knows exactly where your patient needs to be and what steps are needed to get there. In this regard, you should divide their larger goals into smaller, more manageable chunks and assign them one at a time. For example, as a physical therapist, you know that your patient’s ultimate goal is to be able to walk again and break it down into small, manageable goals that are simple for your patient to achieve. It will become less overwhelming for the patient as he achieves smaller goals first and then progresses further with motivation to his ultimate goal. Most importantly, involve your patient in goal-setting activities. They are bound to have ideas about what they want to attain.
When health professionals encourage their patients to use wearable technology, they open up two avenues for patient motivation: patient accountability and another source of patient data collection.
According to a study published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, “data from wearables can be used as a secondary diagnostic tool by providing data to track patient information over time.” Users can easily see their data and use it to change their practices. They can also determine when to contact a nurse practitioner for further examination.”
In the 1960s, Japan manufactured the first pedometer. Wearable technology for health and activity tracking has advanced significantly since then. Fitbit activity trackers, smartwatches, and fitness belts are just a few of the wearable gadgets that are now available to health enthusiasts everywhere.
While wearable technology can help with patient motivation, the patient must do the majority of the work. In other words, while wearable technology cannot change one’s lifestyle, it can aid in motivation.
To create a meaningful experience for patients, healthcare professionals can employ various methods of patient motivation. Motivational interviewing, positive messaging, follow-ups, and wearable technology all serve as great tools for patient support. Patient motivation can help improve patients’ well-being and decrease the frequency of illnesses.
Motivating patient to maintain their health is something really serious that everyone needs to understand. There are times when patients are highly motivated to do things on their own and there are times when they lack motivation and don’t even try a single step. So do a few things as above mentioned and keep your patients going for better health.
To motivate and sustain change in patients, a key component is to remember that professionalism and a caring attitude are required from all healthcare providers. The focus should shift toward clinical care processes and research that center on human relationships rather than “one-size-fits-all” strategies for patient care. This will optimize efforts for motivating patients toward optimal health behaviors.
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