Providing recording of clinical consultation to patients - a highly valued but underutilized intervention: a scoping review

Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Jun;95(3):297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.02.007. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


Objective: The benefits of providing patients with recorded clinical consultations have been mostly investigated in oncology settings, generally demonstrating positive outcomes. There has been limited synthesis of evidence about the practice in wider context. Our aim was to summarize, in a scoping review, the evidence about providing consultation recordings to patients.

Methods: We searched seven literature databases. Full text articles meeting the inclusion criteria were retrieved and reviewed. Arksey and O'Malley's framework for scoping studies guided the review process and thematic analysis was undertaken to synthesize extracted data.

Results: Of 5492 abstracts, 33 studies met the inclusion criteria. Between 53.6% and 100% (72% weighted average) of patients listened to recorded consultations. In 60% of reviewed studies patients shared the audio-recordings with others. Six themes identified in the study provided evidence for enhanced information recall and understanding by patients, and positive reactions to receiving recorded consultations. There has been limited investigation into the views of providers and organizations. Medico-legal concerns have been reported.

Conclusion: Patients place a high value on receiving audio-recordings of clinical consultations and majority benefit from listening to consultation recordings.

Practice implications: Further investigation of the ethical, practical and medico-legal implications of routinely providing recorded consultations is needed.

Keywords: Audiotaped clinical consultation; Providing recordings to patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Office Visits*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Tape Recording*