Recall and Retention of Adult Patients Using Videotaped Versus Written Discharge Instructions In a Hospital Emergency Department

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

John R. Rachal

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The methodology for this research followed a field experiment design in order to investigate the differences in videotaped and written emergency department discharge instructions for wound care. Subjects consisted of a convenience sample of emergency department patients who were being treated for minor lacerations. Data were collected over a period of two months. The total sample consisted of 50 subjects. As the subjects arrived in the emergency department individually, they were randomly placed in either a treatment group or a comparison group. Each group contained 25 subjects. Subjects in the treatment group were shown a two minute videotape which contained the same content as the written instructions normally used in the emergency department. After watching the videotape, the treatment subjects were asked to complete a ten-item, multiple choice recall instrument and a demographic information sheet. The individual subjects then were contacted at home by telephone between 48 and 72 hours after discharge. A ten-item, multiple choice instrument testing retention was administered verbally. The same procedure was carried out for the comparison group, except the usual written instructions were substituted for the videotaped instructions. Compilation and analysis of the data revealed that the treatment group had higher scores on both recall (p =.0341) and retention (p =.0046) than did the comparison group. Education level and perceived severity of injury were found to be predictors of recall for the comparison group while only perceived severity of injury was found to be a predictor of recall in the treatment group. Perceived severity of injury and educational level were found to be significant predictors of retention in the comparison group, while age and education level were significant predictors of retention in the treatment group.