Thirty four studies were included (n=3,983 participants, range 30 to 318).
Five studies reported a positive impact of audio recordings on patient clinical information recall compared with no audio recording. Five other studies did not find a positive effect.
Four studies reported that written information had a significant positive influence upon recall of clinical information/advice; three studies found no effect. Three studies compared audio with written materials; results were not reported for these. There was no significant difference in recall between patients randomised to receive written information incorporating adjunct questions and those who received written information without adjunct questions. One study found a beneficial effect of a prompt sheet when the clinician was involved in its use; a second study found no difference in recall between those given a prompt sheet and those who were not.
Two studies reported significant beneficial effects of video aids (information video and pictogram material about medication) on patient clinical information recall compared with those in control groups; two studies found no significant benefit of a visual aid intervention.
Four studies reported significant beneficial effects of cognitive strategies (simplified instruction protocol, instructions in "elderspeak", use of mind maps and acronyms, confidence/motivational video) on patient clinical information recall compared with those in control groups. One study reported significant beneficial effects of an intervention that involved reciting the risks of surgery until the patients could do so correctly; a second study found no effect of repeated questioning.
One study reported no effects of shared decision making on patient recall of clinical information.
Two studies reported significant beneficial effects of personalised teaching/action plans on patient clinical information recall; one study found no significant beneficial effects.