Liu, L. L., & Park, D. C. (2004). Aging and medical adherence: The use of automatic processes to achieve effortful things. Psychology and Aging, 14, 179–19 2.When patients are given information from a doctor how much do patients typically forget?

This assignment focuses on Chapter 8: Memory from your text book and involves reading about some research on memory and the medical field. Read each question carefully. For questions 2-5, you should answer based on the assigned reading provided. For each question provide an answer in complete sentences. Questions 1.Identify and describe five strategies mentioned in your textbook that have been shown to improve memory. Use this text to answer questions 2-5. The text suggests several strategies for improving your memory. Equally important are strategies for present- ing material in a way that allows it to be understood and remembered well. For example, does the research suggest how doctors might present instructions to their patients so that the instructions are memorable? Studies indicate that patients typically forget up to half the information provided by their doctor. The remembering of advice is obviously important to physical well-being; it also correlates highly with a patient’s general level of satisfaction with medical care. In the case of surgi- cal patients, the provision of adequate and memorable information reduces both the number of analgesics required during recovery and recovery time itself. Philip Ley (1979), a clinical psychologist, con- ducted a series of studies on the practical problems of enhancing the comprehension and retention of medical instructions. In one study, he applied the primacy effect and found that the retention of advice and instructions was enhanced when more important and salient features were presented first. In another study, Ley applied the research on organization and meaningfulness. Patients remembered more if doctors explicitly divided their statements into clear categories. For example, the doctor might say, “I am going to tell you what is wrong, what tests will be needed, and what the treatment will be. First, what is wrong with you: I think you have bronchitis. Second, what tests will be needed: You will have to have an X-ray and a blood test to make sure. Third, what the treatment will be: I’ll give you an antibiotic to take. Take it on an empty stomach at least one hour before a meal.” This careful categorization led to a 42 percent improvement in recall in one study, and to a 24 percent improvement in another. In yet a third study, Ley and his colleagues found that recall of advice could be improved by using specif- ic rather than general instructions. General statements, such as “You must weigh yourself regularly” or “You must lose weight,” were much less likely to be recalled than more specific statements, such as “Weigh yourself every Saturday before breakfast” or “You must lose 15 pounds in weight.” Specific statements were in fact twice as likely to be recalled as were the more general statements. Researchers Linda Liu and Denise Park (2004) found that when they instructed 60- to 81-year-old adults to spend a few minutes picturing how they would test their blood sugar, they were significantly more likely to carry out the monitoring. In fact, over a three-week period, those in this “imagination” condition remembered to test their blood sugar levels at the right time of day 76 percent of the time. In contrast, those in “rehearsal” (asked to repeatedly recite aloud the instruc- tions) or “deliberation” (asked to write down the pros and cons for testing blood sugar) groups carried out the monitoring only 46 percent of the time. The investigators speculated that imagination may be more effective than other techniques for following medical advice because it relies on automatic memory, a primitive component of memory that doesn’t decline with age. Using this strategy, one might imagine taking pills with morning orange juice. At breakfast the next day, taking a sip of orange juice automatically cues one to take the medication. Baddeley, A. (1990). Human memory: Theory and prac- tice. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Ley, P. (1979). Memory for medical information. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18(2), 245–255. Liu, L. L., & Park, D. C. (2004). Aging and medical adherence: The use of automatic processes to achieve effortful things. Psychology and Aging, 14, 179–19 2.When patients are given information from a doctor how much do patients typically forget? 3.Why is it important for patients to remember information from a doctor? 4.What does research suggest doctors could do to help improve their patients’ memory? 5.According to the research, what seems to be the most effective memory technique for following medical advice? Why? 6.Based on what you read in your textbook, what you have learned in lecture, and what you read in the research text above, come up with another strategy (different from any mentioned in the text above) you believe would work to help patients be more likely to remember information from their doctors. Provide the strategy and an example of the strategy.

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