The HERBAL Guide: Hearing the Patient Out – DNI/DSI Webcast Part 4

Transcript - Part 4

The HERBAL Guide:  Hearing the Patient Out

Hearing the patient out. Again, the two most common reasons are, "I didn't know I should," and, "The doctor didn't ask." So, these are easy to overcome and I think the main ways we need to do that are both in how we interact with the patient as well as even before that, having things in our clinic.

Two examples here that may help cue the patient to think, "Ah, I'm going to discuss this today," and also to feel comfortable that there's not going to be any level of supplement shaming, which some patients have described as when they do disclose, it's not a very comforting environment and they don't feel like they're going to do that ever again.

Trying to unlearn that behavior and helping our patients know that they can do that in an open atmosphere. This is “Complete the Care” which is from the HERBAL Guide, and you can use that in the clinic, or the National Institutes of Health have certain handouts and materials which you can find at this link [], which help to start the discussion as well as how to handle the information that you get.

So, creating that initial disclosure is very important. It's also important regarding how you ask that question. We know that if that's asked simply as part of the paperwork, there's a very low yield in some clinics as far as getting that information because it's not expected to be disclosed.

In one study, 5% on the medication questionnaire improved to over 40% disclosure when it was a direct question. Another study went from 30% to over 60%, again it depends on how it's asked on the form. Sometimes you get a higher disclosure rate when you specifically specify you want to know about all potential substances or approaches that the patient is using, and why they might be using that. That helps key in that it's not just about a medication or prescription medication that they are using.

And beyond that, it's always nice on a periodic basis to ask about any other approaches to their health care that they haven't mentioned before. So, you can complete that intake form as far as supplements and dietary supplements, herbals, and botanicals.