Chunk and check

Chunk and check can be used alongside tools such as teach back to assist in promoting understanding. When we speak to patients and clients there is often a lot of information to be discussed and we may have to explain more than one concept. People can struggle to take on board a long list of things they are being asked to take in or do, and yet this is often how information is presented. Sometimes the explanation of what people are being asked to understand and to take away and put into practice is left until the end of the consultation/discussion.

To implement the chunk and check technique, break down the information that you need to discuss and that you need the person to understand into smaller more manageable chunks rather than providing it all at once. In between each ‘chunk’ use methods such as teach back to ‘check’ for understanding before moving on.

Patients may have questions as things are being discussed with them, if the information is provided all together they may hold their question until the end, meaning their understanding may be affected. Chunk and check should address this by stopping conversations at appropriate moments to check understanding and also to give the opportunity for questions at key points.