How to Boost Patient Motivation After Pain Relief

Motivating our patients can be challenging.

Let’s admit it. Their motivation fluctuates.

Helping our patients maintain their motivation is essential for their success in reaching their objectives.

Consider the all-too-common scenario:

When a patient is in agony, they are highly motivated to seek treatment. As the discomfort subsides, their motivation begins to fade. The problem that was so pressing to them a few weeks ago is now less pressing. They become increasingly apathetic with their exercises. Perhaps they have cancelled their sessions multiple times.

Helping our patients maintain motivation can be one of the most essential missiles in your quiver for assisting them in achieving their objectives.

Today, I’d like to demonstrate how you can overcome this all-too-common issue in clinical practise. I will demonstrate how setting goals can help you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond reducing discomfort.

⇒Emotion propels behaviour

Although we believe that rationally solid reasons are what motivate people, we must remember that emotion drives behaviour. BJ Fogg, a behavioural researcher, emphasises that emotion dictates behaviour and that emotion is what creates habits.
A potent motivator is desire, which is an emotion directed towards a particular end state. Consider automobile advertising. Even though we need a car to get from A to B, they cannot convince us to purchase one. They emphasise desire. They immerse us in an experience so that we can visualise ourselves in the automobile and the desire it fulfils.

We must comprehend how our patients will feel when they are able to perform their desired activity. We must investigate this emotion and use it to aid in their success.

I’ve devised a simple three-step process to leverage the power of patient goal-setting in order to increase and maintain patient motivation for improved outcomes.

Here are three methods that will assist you in tapping into your patients’ emotions and desires.

⇒Step 1: Scratch the Surface

As straightforward as it is, inquire about their treatment objectives. Give yourself some space and time to discuss the patient’s objectives. Start by inquiring about their objectives. If the patient hesitates, I frequently ask, “If I were to wave a magic wand, what would you want?”

⇒Step 2: Consider the Why

The next step is to investigate further. “so that” is an effective conjunction. Connect the stated objective of less pain, fewer symptoms, etc. to something the patient wishes to return to. For instance, I want to experience less discomfort so that I can resume playing badminton.

I ask my patients:

What activities would you like to repeat if you had less pain?
What would less pain and mobility make possible?

⇒Step Three: Identify the Underlying Desire

Once you have determined what they want to return to, you should investigate the underlying desire or emotion they experience when engaging in this activity.

If interacting with their children is essential to our patient, how do they feel when they play? For the patient who desires to return to the exercise, it could be a sense of strength and completeness.

My recent patient with knee pain desired to ascend and descend stairs without experiencing knee pain. For her, the emotion she desired to experience once more was mobility and vitality.

To sum up, Although goal setting may appear to be relegated to the initial exam, it is a crucial component that must be revisited throughout the care process as motivation wanes. When a patient experiences a significant reduction in pain, it can be extremely beneficial to revisit the patient’s objectives and collaboratively determine the next obstacle to overcome.