Learning Deficit In Healthcare Setting

Typically, when you are receiving care and instructions from a physician or other medical staffer, you are sitting down or laying down in a hospital bed.  Given some of the research discussed in an article today in the Boston Sunday Globe, it makes me wonder if patients are immediately at a disadvantage.  This article discusses research which correlates learning and the brain with physical movement.  An area called “embodied cognition”.

“Work led by Susan Goldin-Meadow, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, has found that children given arithmetic problems that normally would be too difficult for them are more likely to get the right answer if they’re told to gesture while thinking. And studies by Helga Noice, a psychologist at Elmhurst College, and her husband Tony Noice, an actor and director, found that actors have an easier time remembering lines their characters utter while gesturing, or simply moving.”

see-hear-speak.jpgObviously, there is lots of research about how people learn.  At the simplest level, some people learn by reading, some by hearing, and others by experiencing.  Plenty have studies have been done to say people who get information in multiple ways are the most likely to learn it.  I don’t have it with me right now, but when I have done communication seminars for people before, we have talked a lot about why you want to teach and/or present using all three modes.

Tell them…Show them…Make them experience it.

This is why multi-modal coordination (e.g., letter followed by call or call giving you a website) has value and is more effective.

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