"How Rude!" Stop Inadvertently Insulting Your Patients.
Purpose: The purpose of the presentation is to discuss the evolution of language choices made by healthcare professionals, and the impacts it may have on our ability to form a therapeutic alliance and, ultimately, our patient's outcomes. Methods/Description: People-first language is the simple concept of identifying an individual as a person first, not a disability or a medical diagnosis. Current evidence suggests disparities in the use of people-first language in healthcare, and that identification of individuals as a disability or diagnosis can have deleterious effects on the individuals' perception of themselves. While people-first language has been extensively studied in psychology, it's application and subsequent examination in rehabilitation settings has been limited. Though limited, current evidence regarding the outcomes related to people-first language is conflicting. Results/Outcomes: In this presentation, a brief history of clinician language choices will be discussed. Additionally, conflicting evidence regarding the application and outcomes of people-first language will be discussed. Interactive patient scenarios will be utilized to identify potentially offensive statements and language, with an emphasis on developing alternative language to improve communication. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Language choice is an important, though uncomfortable, topic. Healthcare professionals, educators, and students should be aware of the importance and implications of the words we choose so that we can build effective therapeutic alliances with our patients.