The effects of oral versus written instructions on parents' recall and satisfaction after pediatric appointments. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explored the differential effects of written versus oral instructions on parents' recall of information and satisfaction after pediatric appointments. Ninety-six parents completed descriptive information and satisfaction ratings, and four pediatricians completed ratings concerning the complexity level of the appointment. After the appointment, parents were randomly assigned to the Written condition (to receive a transcription of the pediatrician's instructions) or Oral condition (verbal instruction only). Parents were telephoned 5 to 7 days later to report their recall of instructions and satisfaction with the appointment. For the Oral condition parents only, more previous appointments with a given pediatrician were associated with greater parental satisfaction and recall of instructions, and more previous appointments and more time spent with the pediatrician were related to fewer forgotten instructions. Parental characteristics, such as age, number of children, and occupational status, were associated with satisfaction and accurate recall. Implications of these findings are discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Dev Behav Pediatr

author list (cited authors)

  • Heffer, R. W., Worchel-Prevatt, F., Rae, W. A., Lopez, M. A., Young-Saleme, T., Orr, K., ... Weir, M.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Heffer, RW||Worchel-Prevatt, F||Rae, WA||Lopez, MA||Young-Saleme, T||Orr, K||Aikman, G||Krause, M||Weir, M

publication date

  • December 1997