Teach-Back Experience and Hospitalization Risk Among Patients with Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions: a Matched Cohort Study

Academic Article


  • Background: The teach-back method, also known as the “show-me” method, has been endorsed by many medical and health care societies. However, limited investigation has been conducted regarding its association with patient outcomes. Objectives: To examine the association between patient teach-back experience and the risk of hospitalizations and length of hospital stay among patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Design: A matched cohort study. Setting: Data from the 2011–2015 Longitudinal Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (panels 16–19). Participants: Three thousand nine hundred ninety-four US adults aged ≥ 18 years with any of 5 ACSCs (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]). Measurements: Hospital admissions (all-cause or ACSC-related) and the length of stay of the first admission were examined by teach-back during interaction with a health provider. Results: Patients with teach-back experience were less likely to experience hospitalization for an ACSC-related condition (relative risk, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.99) and had a lower risk for a condition-related readmission (hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.99), compared with those without teach-back experience. The median length of hospital stay did not differ between patients with teach-back experience and those without teach-back experience (median 3 days [IQR 1 to 8 days] and median 3 days [IQR 0 to 8 days], respectively; P = 0.84). Subgroup analysis showed that the association of reported teach-back experience on the outcomes was relatively stable among those with hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, but was not among those with asthma or COPD. Limitation: Teach-back exposure relied on patient self-reported information. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that patient teach-back method is associated with reduced risk of hospitalization for those with ACSCs, especially among patients with cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Encouraging providers to utilize the teach-back method at every visit has the potential to further reduce hospitalizations for individuals with ACSCs.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 1341526
  • Author List

  • Hong YR; Cardel M; Suk R; Vaughn IA; Deshmukh AA; Fisher CL; Pavela G; Sonawane K
  • Start Page

  • 2176
  • End Page

  • 2184
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 10