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iPad more effective than booklet at enhancing patient recall, satisfaction

Stephen Padilla
04 Oct 2017
Using iPads are a form of cognitive offloading that we can easily overly on

The use of both an iPad and a paper booklet shows positive effects on patient satisfaction and recall of physiotherapy patient education, but using iPads is significantly better at improving satisfaction and recall among those who underwent hip surgery, a Singapore study has found.

“In addition, the positive satisfaction scores of the participants in this group showed that the use of modern technology for patient education was effective even among elderly patients,” researchers said.

In this study, patients who had undergone hip surgery were randomized to receive information on hip surgery physiotherapy either via an iPad (Group A) or a standard paper booklet (Group B). Both testers and participants were blinded to the intervention, which was done during the patients’ first four postoperative physiotherapy sessions.

Overall, 42 patients (mean age 70 years) joined and completed the study. After the intervention, both groups showed improvement in recall of information given during patient education. However, those in Group A had a significantly better recall score than patients in Group B (4.0 points higher; p<0.001). [Singapore Med J 2017;58:562-568]

Similarly, Group A patients had significantly higher patient satisfaction level than those in Group B (8.5 points higher; p<0.001).

“These findings suggest that the use of iPads for physiotherapy patient education for patients who have undergone hip surgery may be a more effective method of improving patient recall and satisfaction, as compared to the current paper booklets,” researchers said.

“The findings of the present study also suggest that elderly patients were able to use an iPad effectively,” they added.

One possible explanation for these results, according to researchers, is that only generalized information were provided by paper booklets currently in use in their hospital, whereas iPads allowed patient education to be personalized (available options included translation into another language, enlargement of images and the use of sound), which may have helped in improving patient understanding.

“The iPad can also be used as a dynamic learning tool, empowering patients to take control of their own learning. This could have made the patient education experience more interactive and memorable for the patient,” they added. [J Am Geriatr Soc 2009;57:1458-63; Int J Med Inform 2007;76:829-35; Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:Suppl 1S17-9]

The findings of the current study support those of previous research, which found that computer-based education is effective for patients of all ages and that the use of audiovisual materials can enhance learning and lead to improved treatment outcomes. [Comput Inform Nurs 2003;21:88-96; J Am Geriatr Soc 2009;57:1458-63; Int J Med Inform 2007;76:829-35; Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:Suppl 1S17-9]

The current results also agree with those of Vawdrey and colleagues, which found that patients were generally excited about the ability of their tablet application to provide patient-specific health information, as the participants who received patient education via the iPad had significantly higher satisfaction scores than those who received facts via a paper booklet. [AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2011;2011:1428-35]

“With the growing use of information technology in the healthcare industry, demands for portability, easy access and up-to-date information for patients and their caregivers are fast becoming a service provision requirement. As patient education is a major component of physiotherapy, it has the potential to affect … outcomes, including the patient’s perception of the quality of therapy,” researchers said.

“Therefore, patient education should be designed to cater to the needs of the patients and their caregivers. For instance, issues such as language barriers should be addressed, as it has the potential to improve therapy outcomes,” they added.

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3 days ago
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