Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of automated CTS controlled by either touch tone or voice were eligible for inclusion. Studies of computer-assisted telephone interviewing, and applications in clinical research and medical education, were excluded. The included studies were in the areas of health care delivery, preventive health care and medical management of chronic diseases.
Participants included in the review
The authors did not explicitly state an eligible participant group for inclusion. Articles in psychological and psychiatric care (including alcohol, tobacco and drug addiction) were excluded. The included studies were of patients of varying age and ethnic groups in a variety of settings, such as a public health clinic, university hospital, internal medicine clinic, cancer clinic and the general community.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The authors did not pre-specify any outcomes that were eligible for inclusion. The outcomes assessed were varied and included appointment keeping, child immunisation rates, quality of diet, physical activity and medication compliance.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently assessed the titles and abstracts of identified studies.