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Using the Red Book with patients

Using the Red book lifecycle chart during routine check-ups to improve shared decision making

Please refer to the disclaimer before reading the case studies.


When a patient asks for a routine check-up, with no specific current concerns, I start by asking what they think are the key areas to be covered in a check-up for their age group. This gives me a good start to understanding their health literacy and their priorities.

I then show them the Red book lifecycle chart to compare and contrast their thoughts with what the evidence says will be most useful for their health. It’s a great way to get the conversation started and often helps to reframe patients’ expectations when they may be expecting lots of ‘screening tests’ that are of low value and possibly harmful.

Dr Caroline Johnson, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Medical School


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