How well do your clients communicate with their mental-health medication prescribers? Many clients develop “white-coat brain lock” when it comes to asking questions – particularly on the first visit – because one of the most prevalent communication gaps is between doctors and patients. Clinicians can help, here’s how:
On a 3X5 index card, have your client write down the following five questions, and recommend that they ask these after the doctor has completed the initial assessment and has evaluated the client’s history and presenting symptoms.
- “What do you think is wrong with me?”
- “What might be causing this?”
- “What else could it be?”
- “Is there more than one treatment for my disorder?”
- “Would you please tell me about the medication(s) you’re prescribing for me?”
Why suggest clients do this? Because these questions, simple as they may be, often go unanswered due to the flurry of activity in physician offices. So clients have to empower themselves to maximize the benefits of office visits. And an empowered client is usually a compliant client.