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Seven steps to overcoming your patient’s ‘fear of finding out’

Health psychologist Angel Chater explains the motivational interviewing techniques that can help nurses connect with patients who seem unmotivated or ambivalent about accessing healthcare

Health psychologist Angel Chater explains the motivational interviewing techniques that can help nurses connect with patients who seem unmotivated or ambivalent about accessing healthcare

Have you ever come across a patient who seems disengaged with their health – in particular, reticent about seeking treatment or acting on clinical advice? If you have, you are not alone.

Most nurses will have met patients who appear to lack the motivation, time or commitment to make changes to their lifestyle to improve their well-being. For a health professional, attempting to help patients who seem ambivalent about helping themselves can be extremely frustrating.

The underlying cause of this seeming ambivalence may be fear – the fear of finding out they are ill or at risk of illness, or of the impact that lifestyle changes or treatment could have on their work, relationships and finances.

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