Media and Memory: The Impact of Presentation Style on Middle Aged and Older Adults' Recall of Health Information
Author(s)Wilson, Elizabeth Anne Hamann
Contributor(s)Denise C. Park
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Educational tools such as printed pamphlets and videos can enhance patients' understanding and memory of health-related information, but in order for such materials to be effective, designers of such tools should take care to understand the impact of variables such as the medium in which information is displayed, the type of information to be conferred, and the target population to which such materials are aimed. The present study examines the immediate and delayed effects of print and video-based educational tools on middle aged and older adults' knowledge of asthma. Participants were randomly assigned to experimental groups and either shown print-based, video-based, or no educational materials and asked questions about triggers of asthma symptoms and questions about inhaler usage. Participants in the print condition and half of the participants in the video condition then received print materials to take home, and approximately one week later all participants completed the knowledge assessments a second time. The style in which the materials were initially presented did not significantly affect performance, but for both types of information, among participants who were given print materials to take home, those participants who reported actually viewing the materials performed significantly better at the delayed assessments than those who did not, and performance did not differ as a function of initial viewing medium. The findings of the current study suggest that taking educational materials home and reviewing them after their acquisition is highly beneficial to delayed recall of declarative and procedural types of information, and in this study review had a larger impact on patients' understanding and retention of health-related information than did the medium in which the information was initially seen.