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The efficacy of audiotapes in promoting psychological well-being in cancer patients: a randomised, controlled trial.

British journal of cancer. 
71
(2): 
388-392; 
1995. 
(English). 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Open or uncontrolled studies have suggested that providing cancer patients with audiotapes of their clinical interviews can improve information recall and reduce psychological distress. We tested these hypotheses in a 'clinician-blind', prospective, randomised controlled trial. A total of 117 patients newly referred to a medical oncology clinic who were to be given 'bad news' had their consultations audiotaped. Blind to the clinician, patients were randomly allocated to receive a copy of the tape to play at home or not (control group). At 6 months follow-up, tape group patients reported positive attitudes to the audiotape and were shown to recall significantly more information about their illness than did controls. Overall improvement in psychological distress at 1 and 6 months follow-up, as measured with the 30-item General Health Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was no different in the two groups. However, a second-order interaction suggested that poor-prognosis patients were disadvantaged specifically by access to the audiotape, with less improvement in psychological distress at 6 months follow-up than non-tape controls. Patient access to audiotapes of clinical interviews promotes factual retention but does not reliably reduce psychological distress and may be actively unhelpful in some subgroups of patients.
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Detailed Record Information

Record TypeJournal Article
Record Source Status
[MEDLINE]
FormatsPrint
ISSN0007-0920