Your three-sentence health summary

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A three-sentence health summary is a short statement about your health history, treatment and concerns. Learn how to create your own three-sentence health summary.

Key points

  • A three-sentence health summary is made up of your age, diagnosis and brief health history; your treatment plan; and questions or concerns you may have.
  • Your paediatric health-care providers can help you create this summary so all of the information is correct.
  • Practice giving your health summary at appointments before you transition to adult care.

In an adult centre, you will be expected to describe your health history in a quick phrase (about three sentences long). It can help to have some practice with this.

Your three-sentence health summary includes the following information.

  • Sentence 1: Age, diagnosis, and brief health history
  • Sentence 2: Your treatment plan thus far
  • Sentence 3: Questions or concerns to raise during the visit

Write out these three sentences and practice with the health-care providers you see most often. They will help make sure you’ve got all the details correct! If they suggest adding or changing anything, be sure to write these suggestions down. After you give your summary, expect your health-care provider to ask you more questions. This does not mean that you have missed information, just that the person is being thorough.

If your parent(s) or caregiver usually does the talking during appointments, let them know before the appointment that you want to practice giving your health summary and answering questions by yourself.

Here is an example of a health summary:

I am a 17-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). I was treated with multiple chemotherapy drugs and steroids. I am now experiencing pain in both of my knees, and pain medicine isn’t working.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019