Marcus is a middle-aged patient with hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia who came to see me (CF) for a routine check-up.
All of his numbers were getting worse, and as I began to describe this to him, he started to cry I had just received training in something called “motivational interviewing” as part of a research study I was participating in, so I immediately stopped the interview and said, “I would like to try something new with you.
” Another question, appropriate for almost anyone, would be, “If you had one habit that you wanted to change in order to improve your health, what would that be? Never underestimate the power of expressing empathy during tough spots or in celebrating patients' accomplishments.
When you review patients' goals, take joy in their success and show your joy.
Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Broad questions allow patients maximum freedom to respond without fear of a right or wrong answer.