A Layperson’s Guide To Neuropathology

Explaining the science of Neuropathology to a lay person can often be a difficult task.

The field is fraught with technical jargon, involves complicated processes and can often have serious health implications. It’s part of a patient-facing health worker’s responsibility to be able to effectively explain all kinds of conditions in a clear concise manner and simultaneously make them (and their family) as comfortable as possible living with this information. Communications with patients can be difficult, especially when the condition that you’re trying to explain happens to affect their ability to understand you.

These videos offer a guide to health professionals who are looking for new ideas for communicating to patients, whilst they should not be used as an exact reference they can nonetheless be useful in informing you about the tone of voice and vocabulary that might be effective in successfully explaining a complex neurological condition to lay person:

Ependymoma explained

In this straight forward video a complicated condition is visualised and explained with real clarity. Although some technical jargon is used which might be confusing to a layperson, it’s worth considering visualising your explanation like this video so that your patient understands as much as possible.

Alzheimer’s Disease

This video uses a popular form of animation in order show the links and causality between their points. As with many medical topics, to fully explain the subject you may need to start with ‘the basics’ before getting to the more complex parts.

The Science of Lewy Body Dementia

SciShow’s presenter is clear and precise with his explanation, he also leverages humour to make his talk engaging and interesting. Whilst we can’t recommend using humour in your communications it’s worth considering how you come across to your patient – are you being open and friendly? Are you giving the patient the opportunity to ask questions?

Parkinson’s Disease

This is a much more traditional interpretation of presentation. Simple powerpoints are used with basic symbols to illustrate the narrator’s points. Simple signs like arrows and symbolic representations of complex subjects can be an effective tool for breaking down a complicated matter to a lay person.

Idiopathic Hypersomnia

This video is a straight-forward live-action take on explaining a condition. In this example a doctor explains from across his desk and talks to the camera as if they were a patient, a decidedly more naturalistic approach that heavily relies on the intelligence of the viewer.