Teach-Back Method

All populations experience health literacy issues.  Medical jargon is not common to those outside the healthcare setting, even those who work in healthcare can experience a misunderstanding. In an effort to improve health outcomes and foster healthy communities, it is imperative to improve the health literacy of all patients. The Teach-Back method is an evidence-based strategy shown to improve patient understanding. Teach-back is a communication technique used by the provider and any member of the healthcare team to confirm patients’ understanding of their care.  When patients repeat back the health information using their own words, a few things happen:  1) the provider is able to check how well the patient explained the information, and 2) the patient is able to explain what they need to do, giving ownership to the patient for their care.  Remember, it is not a test for the patient, but rather a way to assess understanding.

Erie Niagara AHEC would like to acknowledge and thank the Health Literacy Specialists at the University of New Mexico Hospital’s Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion:

  • Kathryn Anderson, MA
  • Sarah Leister, MA
  • Ruth De Rego, DNP
  • Bronwyn Wilson.

These professionals developed the Five T’s of Teach-Back, which you will learn about in this module. Several sections of this course were adapted with permission from information learned at their workshop at the 2017 International Conference on Communication in Healthcare & Health Literacy Annual Research Conference (ICCH & HARC).

You can visit the University of New Mexico Hospital’s Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion website here.

Course Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  1. Define key concepts of the Teach-Back method.
  2. Understand the health literacy context.
  3. Review steps for performing Teach-Back.


Take this Course
Skip to toolbar