The Cochrane Review has examined evidence on the effectiveness of providing medicines information to consumers through multimedia programs, in which different formats are combined, including text, still graphics, animation, video and audio.
This review aimed to assess the effects of multimedia patient education interventions about prescribed and over-the-counter medications in people of all ages, including children and carers. It included data from randomized and quasi-randomized trials comparing multimedia education to no education, usual care, a control multimedia intervention or education provided using other formats. It also included trials in which the combination of a multimedia education program with a co-intervention was compared with the co-intervention alone.
The primary outcomes were knowledge and skill acquisition.
The review provides some evidence that multimedia education about medications is more effective than usual care (non-standardised education provided by health professionals as part of usual clinical care) or no education, in improving both knowledge and skill acquisition. It also suggests that multimedia education is at least equivalent to other forms of education, including written education and education provided by a health professional. However, the authors caveat that these findings are based on often low quality evidence from a small number of trials.
The report recommends that multimedia education about medications could therefore be considered as an adjunct to usual care but there is inadequate evidence to recommend it as a replacement for written education or education by a health professional. Multimedia education may be considered as an alternative to education provided by a health professional, particularly in settings where provision of detailed education by a health professional is not feasible.
The full article can be read here.