Exploring the value of audiotapes for health literacy: a systematic review

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Sep;58(3):235-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.07.001.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of audiotapes as a health information exchange intervention, specifically looking for use with the "hard-to-reach" population.

Methods: Examined electronic databases and journals for articles that evaluated potential of audiotapes as an educational tool within diverse populations. The systematic review included randomized controlled trials, surveys and exploratory articles. Primary outcome variables analyzed were knowledge and recall, behavioral change, anxiety, self-care, and satisfaction.

Results: Audiotapes were used to record consultations and health-related information in specific health situations. No studies were found that targeted the needs of the "hard-to-reach" population. With the exception of positive patient satisfaction, the benefits of audio taped messages remain unclear.

Practice implications: If even the average person is compromised in the context of information exchange, populations with communication barriers are at even greater risk. Research needs to be conducted, aimed at determining whether audiotapes enhance communication between the "hard-to-reach" population and health professionals.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self Care
  • Tape Recording*