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How can I help patients remember?

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How can I help patients remember?

Based on (Silbermann et al, 2008)

A study was carried out in 2011 which discussed the factors affecting patient recall of information following GP visits. It found that patients that had multi morbidities ( ie had to recall more information) recalled less. Lack of understanding and recollection will reduce patients satisfaction and adherence to treatment (Watson and McKinstry, 2009). Recollection declines with age (Kessel, 2003) and is most effective when combining oral and written information (Jansen et al, 2008). We’ve put together some top tips to help your patients remember information and therefore improve effectiveness of physio!


  • Avoid using medical terminology which is difficult to understand (Watson and McKinstry, 2009)


  • Keep it simple and use language that fits with previous education (ie if talking to another physio/nurse you may be able to help understanding with medical terminology- but don’t assume doctor/nurse will use the same terminology as physios!) (Watson and McKinstry, 2009)


  • Evidence suggests that people recall diagnosis best and advice or instructions least so perhaps off further written information to improve this recall. People appear to recall information best at the BEGINNING of the consultation.


  • Repetition: Repeating information may help.


  • Categorisation: Physio allows information to be categorised ie recommendations may be split into ‘lifestyles recommendations’ or ‘medical recommendations’


  • Summarisation: At the end summarise previous recommendations. ie “So i want you to go home and try to complete the exercises 3 x a day, apply the heat and then continue to keep active.


  • Importance emphasis: These exercises are important because they will help re educate the control around your shoulder. If you only complete them a few times we will not know if they are being effective before I see you next week. If you are unable to commit to performing these regularly perhaps book in to see me in 2 weeks instead.


  • Written materials: Providing written materials that patients can take away as visual cues and reminders will help to improve recall of information.


  • Patient understanding of assessment. Provide an opportunity for patients to clarify any areas they may not understand. For example asking “Do you have any questions? Has everything I’ve said been clear to you?


  • Explain rationale of each recommendation to the patient so that they understand why each instruction is important. ie It is important to massage around the scar site to help reduced sensitivity of the area and increase blood flow.


  1. Ley P: Memory for medical information.
    Br J Soc Clin Psychol 1979, 8:245-55.
  2. Kessels RP: Patients’ memory for medical information.
    J R Soc Med 2003, 96:219-22. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text |PubMed Central Full Text
  3. Watson PW, McKinstry B: A systematic review of interventions to improve recall of medical advice in healthcare consultations.
    J R Soc Med 2009, 102:235-43. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text |PubMed Central Full Text
  4. Kessels RP: Patients’ memory for medical information.
    J R Soc Med 2003, 96:219-22. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text |PubMed Central Full Text
  5. Jansen J, Butow PN, van Weert JC, van Dulmen S, Devine RJ, Heeren TJ, Bensing JM, Tattersall MH: Does age really matter? Recall of information presented to newly referred patients with cancer.
    J Clin Oncol 2008, 26:5450-7.
  6. Silberman J, Tentler A, Ramgopal R, Epstein RM: Recall-promoting physician behaviors in primary care.

    J Gen Intern Med 2008, 23:1487-90.

photo credit: Audringje via photopin cc

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Cardiac Output

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Need to revise Cardiac Output?

Watch the video and then answer the following questions.

1. What is Cardiac Output?

2. How is cardiac output measured in?

3. Which four variables affect cardiac output?

4. What is stroke volume?

5. What is heart rate?

6. What is normal cardiac output?

7. What is tachycardia?

8. What is bradycardia?

8. What would happen to the heart rate if there was an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the blood?

9. What is the main neurotransmitter in parasympathetic stimulation?

10. What three things affect stroke volume?

11. What are the 4 determinants of cardiac output?

12. What is afterload?


Well done give your self a pat on the back, thats hard going!!




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Muscle Revision

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Do you need to revise muscle structure?

With exams just around the corner be sure to be up to speed on your muscle structure and how it performs contraction.

Quick Quiz

1. Draw a muscle fibre. Label  a myofibril.

2. Name the thick and thin filaments that are contained within a myofibril.

3. What is the connective tissue called that surrounds the muscle?

4. What is a sacromere?


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Communication and Pain

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Don’t waste time! Fantastic inspirational story.

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5 things to remember as a physio when using social media

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5 tips fo physios using social media

1. Your digital footprint. If you post, state, write a blog on the internet it can always be re accessed and found. This is not the place to have a blow out at the end of a long day.

2. People behave differently on social media:  People you are interacting with may say things they would probably NEVER say if they were in a room with you.  As physios we know the importance of social interaction and non verbal cues. Text is open to interpretation and can be understood, as it was not first intended. If there is a mis interpretation take the discussion somewhere private so that it is not in the public domain. Everything in the public domain affects your reputation.

3. Online is a public arena: Be mindful that patients and other professionals can read your content/ remarks. Professional codes of conduct apply I all of these areas.

4. Keep your private and public life separate. Use different accounts and remember that even when you are posting in your ‘private life’ you are still expected to uphold professional behaviour.

5. Don’t be scared of it. The digital age is an extremely exciting time and there’s so much to be learn with access to a huge amount of information!! Use it and be part of it because that’s what every other industry is doing and if you don’t embrace it you will be left behind.

photo credit: daniel_iversen via photopin cc

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Tips for using social media

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Tips for using social media.

Don’t add people into social network unless they are within your close friends groups. Do you really want your work colleagues, patients or relatives of patients seeing what you ate at the weekend, a picture of your pet or throwing up on your freshers week?

Avoid posting content that may link to a patient. Do not use any specifics about a case, you should never need to use name/etc anyway! If posting anything on any specifics get written permission or document verbal consent in the notes and explain to the patient where the information will be disclosed. Remember confidentiality.

Check your settings.  Make sure you have maximum privacy on your social media settings. Why do a bunch of strangers need to see that stuff anyway?! Remember facebook keeps all your pictures for up to 7 years after you delete them!!

Be careful how you conduct with others. Comments that people make about you or your business can affect your reputation (defamation). Be very careful of this as people are often more opinionated when speaking from behind a safe computer.

Social marketing has been found to be more effective if you have 3 strong presences rather than being on hundreds of social media sites.

IMO Position Paper on Social Media(2013)

 Read more from a fantastic paper found here…

Also available… guidelines from the CSP

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc




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Physio salary across the world..

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Where’s the highest salary for physiotherapists across the world?

Dubai  Average £72,000

Australia average – $93,000 =  £50,408.

USA average $78,270 = £46,795

UK private £20-38/per hour £37,500 – £74,000.

UK NHS £21,388 – £40,000

France  €33, 262

Germany € 25,000 = £20,731

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Patients helping patients

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Heres some tips one of my patients wanted to pass on to other patients this week! Kind thanks to Steve for his contributions and permission to use on the site to help others. Have you got a patient story? Please send to

What key things helped you to recover with physio and what would you recommend to other patients with also experienced back pain?

Patients helping patients

1. Dealing with the pain and allowing you to continue during the session, as allowing you to manipulate muscles and access trigger points, helped almost immediately, even if sore for a short time after the session.

2. Listening when you say use common sense when doing home exercises. I.e. Pushing myself further if no pain, but stopping if it is painful.

3. Continuing with home stretches and exercises, even if it doesn’t feel like its necessary, as noticed a big improvement week to week.

4. Being honest about where the pain is and what brings the pain on, as each time I explained what brought something on, you were able to work out what was causing it.

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