drawing of a monitor  Module 2 – Unit 5:  Language Focus

Advantages and Disadvantages of Treatment Options

Think About It   What do you do to stay up-to-date on treatment options in your area of specialty? As a health care professional, how do you assess and compare the best treatment options for a certain illness or condition?

  1. Choose one of the four situations below or write your own that fits your health care field.
  2. Write two treatment options on the Role Play Worksheet.
  3. Write a description of your patient on the Role Play Worksheet. Include details about the patient that may influence treatment choices such as age, occupation, and living situation.

    Mrs. Wong, 84 y/o widow, living alone; wants to stay independent; does not want to live in a nursing home.

  4. List the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option.
  5. Use the Useful Language below to write what you might say to your patient.
    • Write two sentences that you would say to describe the advantages of each treatment option to your patient.
    • Write two sentences that you would say to describe the disadvantages of each treatment option to your patient.
    • Write two sentences that compare the treatment choices to your patient.
  • Patient with depression: Extensive “talk therapy” without antidepressant medications vs. antidepressant therapy and limited talk therapy.
  • Patient with hypertension: Diet and exercise regime vs. medication.
  • Elderly patient considering a hip replacement:  Risk of hip replacement surgery vs. no surgery and living with decreased mobility.
  • Woman considering tubal ligation surgery for sterilization vs. continued use of contraception method.
  • Your Own Situation:  


Useful Language 

  • Describing advantages
    • The advantage of doing/choosing this is . . .
    • A good thing about this is . . .
    • For someone who is . . . this might be a good choice . . .
  • Describing disadvantages
    • The disadvantage of this is . . .
    • For someone who likes . . . this may be difficult.
    • There is a risk of . . .
    • The side effects are . . .
    • Common side effects are . . .
  • Contrasting choices
    • For you, ___________ may be safer/easier/ more effective/ than . . .
    • For someone like you, ­­­___________ might be easier than . . .

Role Play Work Sheet

Health Professional’s Specialty

Patient Information



Living situation:

Important concerns:


Treatment Option A:






Sentences to describe advantages and disadvantages to the patient:

Treatment Option B:






Sentences comparing the two choices: