What’d she say? Recording that doctor visit might help recall

Have you ever walked out of your doctor’s office only to realize you’d already forgotten important details of what you discussed?

Recordings of those conversations with doctors could help, according to a small Scottish study of heart patients before surgery. The researchers found that patients who got a recording of their consultation with a surgeon before heart surgery were more knowledgeable about their operation and less anxious about it.

The researchers studied 84 patients undergoing heart bypasses at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland between Feb. 10, 2005, and March 15, 2006. Patients who were given recordings of their consultations reported a greater sense of control compared with those who couldn’t listen to a replay.

“The addition of an audiotape … to written communication significantly increases patient’s recall of information and satisfaction level, particularly in elderly patients,” the researchers wrote in the study published in the Archives of Surgery.