The influence of audiotapes on patient participation in the cancer consultation

Eur J Cancer. 1995 Dec;31A(13-14):2264-9. doi: 10.1016/0959-8049(95)00336-3.


This study examined the effect of providing patients with an audiotape of a previous consultation on their level of participation during a subsequent consultation. 117 newly referred medical oncology patients randomised to receive a tape (n = 63) or not (n = 54) had two linked consultations which were both audiotaped. A content analysis revealed no significant differences between tape and control group in the mean number of questions asked during the second consultation. However, significantly more tape group patients (77%) asked for clarification of at least one piece of information compared to the control group (57%) (P = 0.04). A larger number of control group patients (61%) made at least one request for facts already provided in their first consultation compared to tape group patients (39%) (P = 0.05). Audiotapes appear to facilitate patients' requests for the clarification of previously given information and permit the re-absorption of complex information given when patients may have been too distressed for it to be assimilated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiovisual Aids*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Patient Participation*