The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate the effectiveness of three patient-focused interventions designed to increase patient question asking in clinical consultations. Patients were randomly allocated to one of five conditions to receive either one of three interventions or to serve as an attention control group or a control group. The primary outcome measure was question asking by the patient of their physician. Participants in the intervention groups did not ask more questions than participants in the control groups. Immediately after the consultation participants in the intervention groups had higher levels of self-efficacy in asking questions. Three months after the index visit patients in the intervention groups were significantly more likely to be satisfied to some degree than patients in the control group. There was no difference in diabetic control. These results suggest that simple brief patient-focused interventions do not change patient behaviour in medical outpatient consultations.