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The 6 Types of Patients You Will Encounter (& How to Activate Them)


Clinicians are often challenged with ensuring patients adhere to health advice around their treatment, medication, nutrition, exercise, and other activities. Adherence to long-term therapies by patients with chronic illness averages at 50%1. Adherence to advice on lifestyle changes can be even lower at 20-30%2. Verbal or written instructions and follow-ups are not achieving sufficient health outcomes. Communication strategies that allow a clinician to truly engage with the patient can trigger the patient into ‘activation’ i.e. self-motivated adherence, and greater involvement in their care.

I recently attended a riveting talk, by my friend and global personalised medicine expert,
Matt Riemann, on personalised communication and patient activation. In a roomful of doctors at the University of New South Wales, Matt relayed a clear message about how the language we use to communicate with our patients resonates with them in different ways, based on who they are.

Find out more about how you can encourage better patient adherence among Sensors, Crusaders, Activators, Connectors, Guardians and Diplomats by simply TAILORING the way you engage with them. Watch this video of my interview with Matt Riemann, Personal Health Pioneer & Futurist and Founder of ph360.

We’re brimming with ideas to help you improve the patient experience through Engagement and Activation. Email us with your questions or call us at 02 8091 0918 to find out more…

1.  Adherence to long-term therapies: Evidence for Action, World Health Organisation (WHO)2013,
2.  Factors affecting therapeutic compliance: A review from the patient’s perspective, Jing Jin, Grant Edward Sklar, Vernon Min Sen Oh, Shu Chuen Li, Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Feb; 4(1): 269–286. Published online 2008 Feb. PMCID: PMC2503662

About the Author: Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

Dr Avi is a medical doctor with broad healthcare sector experience including hospitals, biotech, pharmaceuticals and the wellness industry. He is a leading expert who coaches and consults to senior executives, entrepreneurs, practitioners, organisations and governments.