Use the Teach-back Method

The Teach-back method is a quick way for health care team members and others to check how well patients have understood the information provided. Consider using it with all patients, regardless of education level. When talking to your patients about prediabetes, you might say:

  • “We covered a lot today about prediabetes, and I want to make sure that I explained things well. Can you tell me how you would describe it to a friend?”
  • “I want to be sure that I clearly described some of the steps you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes. Is there one thing you can do this week to get started?”

The following organizations offer more information about the Teach-back method, including presentations and videos demonstrating its use:


  1. Teach Back Video—a technique for teaching patients (4:45)

    The teach back method is often advocated as a way to confirm that a patient understands medical instructions and it may also improve retention of information. This video gives two examples of the teach back with a patient.