Should consultation recording use be a practice standard? A systematic review of the effectiveness and implementation of consultation recordings

Psychooncology. 2018 Apr;27(4):1121-1128. doi: 10.1002/pon.4592. Epub 2017 Dec 19.


Objective: To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of consultation recordings and identify factors contributing to their successful implementation in health-care settings.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted for quantitative studies examining the effectiveness of consultation recordings in health care. Two independent reviewers assessed the relevance and quality of retrieved quantitative studies by using standardized criteria. Study findings were examined to determine consultation recording effectiveness and to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation. A supplementary review of qualitative evidence was performed to further explicate implementation factors.

Results: Of the 3373 articles retrieved in the quantitative search, 26 satisfied the standardized inclusion criteria (12 randomized controlled trials, 1 quasi-experiment, and 13 cross-sectional studies). Most patients found consultation recordings beneficial. Statistically significant evidentiary support was found for the beneficial impact of consultation recordings on the following patient reported outcomes: knowledge, perception of being informed, information recall, decision-making factors, anxiety, and depression. Implementation barriers included strength of evidence concerns, patient distress, impact of the recording on consultation quality, clinic procedures, medico-legal issues, and resource costs. Facilitators included comfort with being recorded, clinical champions, legal strategies, efficient recording procedures, and a positive consultation recording experience.

Conclusions: Consultation recordings are valuable to patients and positively associated with patient-reported outcomes. Successful integration of consultation recording use into clinical practice requires an administratively supported, systematic approach to addressing implementation factors.

Keywords: audiovisual aids; cancer; communication; consultation; oncology; review; tape recording.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Referral and Consultation / standards*
  • Video Recording / standards*