Purpose: To provide an update on the representational approach to patient education.
Organizing construct: The representational approach to patient education to guide a wide-range of educational interventions.
Methods: Four intervention trials based on the representational approach are discussed: the representational intervention to decrease cancer pain (RIDcancerPain), patient-centered advance care planning (PC-ACP), an individualized representational intervention to improve symptom management (IRIS), and the written representational intervention to ease symptoms (WRITE symptoms).
Results: Findings from these trials show that interventions based on the representational approach are efficacious. Results of these trials have provided information for strengthening the approach and extending it to novel clinical problems and delivery modes.
Conclusions: The representational approach to patient education appears to be adequately flexible to guide interventions in different patient care situations, while also sufficiently structured to be replicable and testable.