1.12 The Do’s and Don’ts of Questioning

The Do’s and Don’ts of Questioning

  • Use Open-Ended Questions.
    • Open-ended questions allow the patient to relay the information without prompts.
      • Phrases such as “tell me about” or “describe what happened” avoid leading the patient, encourage elaboration and discourage uninformative yes or no answers.
        • An example: “Tell me why you came here today.” This open-ended question will allow the patient to tell you what happened or about the event.
  • Ask Only the Questions That Need to be Asked.
    • The medical history should consist only of the questions needed to be asked to be informed or to complete the medical evaluation.
  • Avoid Leading Questions.
    • Leading questions suggest the answer and or contain the answer within the question.
      • Examples: “Alex touched you there, didn’t he?” and “Did Jordan make you lie on the bed?”
    • Leading questions may confuse the patient and alter how they disclose what happened.
Gov, O., et al., (2015).