Media and memory: The efficacy of video and print materials for promoting patient education about asthma

Elizabeth A H Wilson, Denise C. Park, Laura M. Curtis, Kenzie A. Cameron, Marla L. Clayman, Gregory Makoul, Keith vom Eigen, Michael S. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined the effects of presentation medium on immediate and delayed recall of information and assessed the effect of giving patients take-home materials after initial presentations. Methods: Primary-care patients received video-based, print-based or no asthma education about asthma symptoms and triggers and then answered knowledge-based questions. Print participants and half the video participants received take-home print materials. A week later, available participants completed the knowledge assessment again. Results: Participants receiving either intervention outperformed controls on immediate and delayed assessments (p<. 0.001). For symptom-related information, immediate performance did not significantly differ between print and video participants. A week later, receiving take-home print predicted better performance (p<. 0.05), as did self-reported review among recipients of take-home print (p<. 0.01). For content about inhaler usage, although video watchers outperformed print participants immediately after seeing the materials (p<. 0.001), a week later these two groups' performance did not significantly differ. Among participants given take-home materials, review predicted marginally better recall (p= 0.06). Conclusion: Video and print interventions can promote recall of health-related information. Additionally, reviewable materials, if they are utilized, may improve retention. Practice implications: When creating educational tools, providers should consider how long information must be retained, its content, and the feasibility of providing tangible supporting materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalPatient education and counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Cognition
  • Design
  • Learning
  • Literacy
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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