Skip to main content
  • Memory When You Need It Most: Review of Personalized Video Recording of Doctor-Patient Consultations at a Neurosurgical Institution

    Final Number:

    Randall W. Porter MD; Andrew J. Meeusen MA LIS; Michele Grigaitis DNP, FNP-BC

    Study Design:

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2014 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Patients visiting a physician often have difficulty remembering everything the doctor told them during their consultation. Over half of all information presented is forgotten within hours or days. The goal of this study was to review the experience of multiple physicians at a neurosurgical institution with the use of a personalized video recording system to improve doctor-patient communication and provide a new tool to help patients retain the medical information presented to them.

    Methods: Personalized video recordings were offered to patients of six neurosurgeons between 2009 and November 2013. Patients were given the opportunity to have their consultation recorded and uploaded to a secure website, then given access to the video to watch and listen to again at home. The authors collected surveys of patients' experiences with their videos and their ability to remember the information discussed during their visit.

    Results: 1,163 videos were recorded between November 2009 and November 2013, representing 16.6% of total patients seen and 39.9% of total first-time visits. 410 of these patients were sent an electronic survey to ask about their impression of the service. 165 responses were collected (40.2%). 91% of respondents watched their video at least once an average of 2.2 times, and 64.24% shared their video with another person. 50.3% of respondents felt more at ease, 35.4% less anxious, and 65.8% could remember more of their doctor's instructions after watching their video. Additionally, 18.5% of total comments to the survey were regarding patients remembering more of their visit.

    Conclusions: Patients who cannot or do not remember their doctor's instructions are at risk of not adhering to those instructions, which can greatly impact quality of care and have adverse consequences. Video recording doctor-patient conversations can help patients to better follow all instructions and potentially improve their overall physical health following surgery.

    Patient Care: The use of video, as opposed to simple note-taking or just audio recording, allows patients to not only have access to the words that the physician is saying, but also the visual information regarding their medical imaging, the use of models or other anatomical representations, and the gestures and expressions of the physician when discussing information. This helps reduce anxiety and improve retention of information. The consequences of poor doctor-patient communication include non-adherence to medical advice (including medication instructions, post-operative care, and general continuing care) which can lead to greater rates of hospital readmissions after a surgical procedure and additional new or recurrent problems.

    Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants should have a better understanding of: 1) the use of video technology in a clinical setting; 2) the usefulness of personalized video recording for patients; and 3) the usefulness of providing video recordings of the doctor-patient conversation to patients to review.

    References: 1. Kessels R: Patients’ memory for medical information. J Roy Soc Med 96:219-222, 2003 2. Ley P: What the patient doesn’t remember. Med Opin Rev 1:71-73, 1966 3. Ley P, Spelman MS: Communications in an out-patient setting. Br J Soc Clin Psych 4(2):114-116, 1965 4. Ley P, Bradshaw PW, Eaves DE, Walker CM: A method for increasing patients’ recall of information presented to them. Psychological Med 3:217-220, 1973 5. Ley P, Whitworth MA, Skilbeck CE, Woodward R, Pinsent RJFH, Pike LA, et al: Improving doctor-patient communication in general practice. J Roy College Gen Pract 26:720-724, 1976b 6. Shapiro DE, Boggs SR, Melamed BG, Graham-Pole J: The effect of varied physician affect on recall, anxiety, and perceptions in women at risk for breast cancer: an analogue study. Health Psychol 11(1):61-66, 1992 7. North N, Cornbleet M, Knowles G, Leonard R: Information giving in oncology: a preliminary study of tape-recorder use. Br J Clin Psychol 31:357-359, 1992 8. Ley P: Memory for medical information. Br J Soc Clin Psychol 18(2):245-255, 1979 9. Makaryus A, Friedman E: Patients’ understanding of their treatment plans and diagnosis at discharge. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 80(8):991-994, 2005 10. Vincent GK, Velkoff VA: The next four decades: The older population in the United States 2010 to 2050. United States Census Bureau, 2010. Retrieved from 11. Bankoff S, Sandberg EH: Older adults’ memory for verbally presented information. Educ Gerontol 38(8):539-551, 2012 12. Fortun P, Chalkley L, Shonde A, Hawkey C: Recall of informed consent by healthy volunteers in clinical trials. Q J Med 101:625-629, 2008 13. American Medical Association: Health literacy and patient safety: Help patients understand. Video produced 2007. Retrieved from 14. Ong LML, Visser MRM, Lammes FB, van der Velden J, Kuenen BC, de Haes JCJM: Effect of providing cancer patients with the audiotaped initial consultation on satisfaction, recall, and quality of life: a randomized, double-blind study. J Clin Oncol 18(6):3052-3060, 2000 15. Bruera E, Pituskin E, Calder K, Neumann C, Hanson J: The addition of an audiocassette recording of a consultation to written recommendations for patients with advanced cancer: a randomized, controlled trial. Cancer 86(11):2420-2425, 1999 16. Hogbin B, Jenkins V, Parkin A: Remembering ‘bad news’ consultations: an evaluation of tape-recorded consultations. Psychooncol 1:147-154, 1992 17. Hogbin B, Fallowfield L: Getting it taped: the ‘bad news’ consultation with cancer patients. Br J Hosp Med 41(4):330-333, 1989 18. McHugh P, Lewis S, Ford S, Newlands E, Rustin G, Coombes C, et al: The efficacy of audiotapes in promoting psychological well-being in cancer patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Br J Cancer 71:388-392, 1995 19. Ford S, Fallowfield L, Hall A, Lewis S: The influence of audiotapes on patient participation in the cancer consultation. Eur J Cancer 31A(13/14):2264-2269, 1995 20. Astley CM, Chew DP, Aylward PE, Molloy DA, De Pasquale CG: A randomized study of three different information aids prior to coronary angiography, measuring patient recall, satisfaction, and anxiety. Heart Lung Circ 17(1):25-32, 2008 21. Dunn SM, Butow PN, Tattersall MH, Jones QJ, Sheldon JS, Taylor JJ, et al: General information tapes inhibit recall of the cancer consultation. J Clin Oncol 11(11):2279-2285, 1993 22. Cope CD, Lyons AC, Donovan V, Rylance M, Kilby MD: Providing letters and audiotapes to supplement a prenatal diagnostic consultation: effects on later distress and recall. Prenat Diagn 23:1060-1067, 2003 23. Tattersall MHN, Butow P, Griffin A, Dunn S: The take-home message: patients prefer consultation audiotapes to summary letters. J Clin Oncol 12(6):1305-1311, 1994 24. Tattersall MH, Butow PN, Ellis PM: Meeting patients’ information needs beyond the year 2000. Support Care Cancer 5(2):85-89, 1997 25. Tattersall MH, Butow PN: Consultation audio tapes: an underused cancer patient information aid and clinical research tool. Lancet Oncol 3(7):431-437, 2002 26. Tattersall MHN: Consultation audio-tapes: an information aid, and a quality assurance and research tool. Support Cancer Care 10:217-221, 2002 27. Flory J, Emanuel E: Interventions to improve research participants’ understanding in informed consent for research. J Amer Med Assoc 292(13):1593-1601, 2004 28. Schenker Y, Fernandez A, Sudore R, Schillinger D: Interventions to improve patient comprehension in informed consent for medical and surgical procedures. Med Decis Making 31(1):151-173, 2011 29. Scott JT, Entwistle VA, Sowden AJ, Watt I: Giving tape recordings or written summaries of consultations to people with cancer: a systematic review. Health Expectations 4(3):162-169, 2001 30. Ah-Fat FG, Sharma MC, Damato BE: Taping outpatient consultations: a survey of attitudes and responses of adult patients with ocular malignancy. Eye 12:789-791, 1998 31. Lobb E, Butow P, Meiser B, Barratt A, Kirk J, Gattas M, et al: The use of audiotapes in consultations with women from high risk breast cancer families: a randomized trial. J Med Genet 39:697-703, 2002 32. Butt H: A method for better physician-patient communication. Ann Intern Med 86:478-480, 1977 33. Martin E, Martin PML: The reactions of patients to a video camera in the consulting room. J Roy College Gen Pract 34(268):607-610, 1984 34. Campbell IK: Audio-visual recording in the surgery: do patients mind? J Roy College Gen Pract 32:548-549, 1982 35. Campbell LM: Videotaping of general practitioner consultations: effect on patient satisfaction. Br Med J 311:236, 1995 36. Pringle M, Stewart-Evans C: Does awareness of being video recorded affect doctors’ consultation behavior? Br J Gen Pract 40:455-458, 1990 37. Stockler M, Butow PN, Tattersall MH: The take-home message: patients prefer consultation audiotapes to summary letters. J Clin Oncol 12(6):1305-1311, 1994 38. Rosenbaum E, Rosenbaum I: Achieving open communications with cancer patients through audio and videotapes. J Psychosoc Oncol 4(4):91-105, 1987 39. Oliver C: Tape-recording a doctor’s visit is being promoted at a major medical center. Accessed from on 09/19/2012.

We use cookies to improve the performance of our site, to analyze the traffic to our site, and to personalize your experience of the site. You can control cookies through your browser settings. Please find more information on the cookies used on our site. Privacy Policy