- Found some interesting methodology in this article exploring alcohol usage interventions in the ED. (Heavy but non-alcoholic drinkers were found to have decreased their drinking at 3 months.) For everyone that qualified for the study, they asked them on a scale of 1-10 how ready they were to change some aspect of their drinking (10 being fully ready). But this score wasn’t really that important–it was to secretly get at the patient’s own underlying concerns about drinking, because here were the follow-up questions:
- if 2 or higher, ask: “Why did you choose that number and not a lower one?”
- if less than 2, ask pros and cons: a) Help me to understand what you enjoy about drinking? b) Now tell me what you enjoy less about drinking.
I love it. If you answer anything but 1, you’re indirectly acknowledging that there might be something less than optimal with your drinking. If you answer 1, you ask people to volunteer their own ideas about what’s good and bad about drinking. It’s essentially a sneaky way to plant discrepancy and cognitive dissonance in a patient’s mind.
Now of course, duh, this won’t work for everyone. Just thought it was a very clever way to force the patient to come up with his or her own ideas instead of casting that whole “You shouldn’t be drinking so much” light onto patients.
- The “normal” body temperature, 98.6 degrees F has a fever, according to the LA Times. Turns out we base good ol’ 98.6 on experiments using mercury thermometers from the 1800s, and that depending on your race, age, gender, and time of day, your temperature is probably a couple tenths of a point lower than that. (Personally it would have been nice had the writer mentioned in the article that a person doesn’t have a fever until 100.4 degrees or higher, to do a little patient education out there in La La land.)