Ask Three Questions

The following is a recommended intervention identified by the TP-CKD programme for implementation with both staff and patients, to test the following question:

Can the use of intervention tools help to improve the knowledge, skills and confidence of patients with kidney disease to enable fuller participation in the management of their own health?

To explore other interventions identified by the programme, visit our Interventions Toolkit Home Page

Ask Three Questions

Ask 3 Questions is a simple way of helping patients get more involved in their treatment and care. It supports the NHS’s aim of “no decision about me, without me’.

The three questions are:

  1. What are my options?
  2. What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
  3. How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?

An optional fourth question may also be asked:   ‘What if I do nothing?’

Addressing these questions during a consultation can aid decisions about the best course of action for each individual patient.

What are the benefits?

Ask 3 Questions…

  • Is quick and effective, not expensive to use and easy to implement
  • Helps patients to have a better understanding of their health, encouraging them to get involved in managing their own healthcare
  • Improves communication between patients and health professionals
  • Helps patients be more in control of their own health and care

How can it be used?

For patients

  • The key message for patients is to always be prepared to ‘Ask 3 questions’ when discussing your treatment options
  • You might find it helpful to think about these questions before each consultation

For staff

  • Encourage the use of the “Ask 3 Questions” technique in your clinical practice
  • When responding to questions, it is helpful to use plain language, simple illustrations, and check patients understanding of the main points of the information you’ve given

Useful Links and Resources

http://personcentredcare.health.org.uk/resources/developing-ask-3-questions-campaign-raise-peoples-awareness-of-shared-decision-making

http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/ask3

http://www.pat.nhs.uk/downloads/patient-information-leaflets/other/Ask 3 Questions Leaflet.pdf