passive voice


What should I use instead of 'is related'?

See example:

Education is related to better patient outcomes and is particularly essential for the optimal care of dying patients (Gill & Duffy, 2010; Lansdell, & Beech, 2010; Law, 2009; Smith, & Porock, 2009; Whitehead, at el., 2010).
asked Jun 13 '11 at 00:28 laura cox New member

2 answers


"Better patient outcomes result from education and are particularly essential..."

link comment answered Jun 13 '11 at 03:45 Stacie New member

In the original, the subject is "Education." In Stacie's solution, the subject of the sentence becomes "patient outcomes."  This allows the passive construction to be eliminated.  BUT! The same subject now applies to the clause following the conjunction "and".  While I am sure that "patient outcomes are particularly essential,: I believe the sense of the original was to say that "education is particularly essential for the optimal care,,,"


In my humble option, the "passivity" of the original results from the verb choice "is related." To find a better (more "active" verb), ask yourself: "how is education related to outcome?"  Is this merely a correlation, or is there causation involved? What kind of education is involved?  Is it the education level of the patient? ...the medical staff? ...or is it patient education at the time of treatment? Be more specific with your verb choice.


"Improved patient education results in better outcomes..." or "Improved staff education results in better patient outcomes..."


Perhaps you should also think about using two sentences.  Afterall, what is a better outcome for a dying patient? Better outcome and optimal care are not (grammar aside) parallel thoughts.


Hope this helps.

link comment answered Jun 15 '11 at 00:54 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.