Using a communication tool to help clients express their health concerns
Jane Macer Consultant speech and language therapist, Castleback Care, Darlington, Talking Mats, Stirling University
Peter Fox General practitioner, Stobswell Medical Centre, Dundee
With the aid of a set of symbols, individuals were able to prepare for their annual check up with a GP, say Jane Macer and Peter Fox
Communication impairment, learning disability and mental health needs can limit people’s ability to have meaningful consultations with medical practitioners, who are frequently ill-equipped to support such patients to express themselves. Consequently they rely heavily on third-party reporting. This article describes the implementation of the communication tool, Talking Mats®, in a small psychiatric hospital to elicit patients’ views on their health needs. Outcomes and implications for patients, doctors, nursing and care staff are discussed.
Learning Disability Practice. 13, 9, 22-24. doi: 10.7748/ldp2010.11.13.9.22.c8095