The purpose of our study was to assess the effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in patients having colonoscopies. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial in large, multispecialty clinic. Eighty-six patients were referred for colonoscopies. The interventions were standard education versus standard education plus CAI, and the outcome measures were anxiety, comprehension, and satisfaction. Computer-assisted instruction had no effect on patients' anxiety. The group receiving CAI demonstrated better overall comprehension (p < 0.001). However, Comprehension of certain aspects of serious complications and appropriate postsedation behavior were unaffected by educational method. Patients in the CAI group were more likely to indicate satisfaction with the amount of information provided when compared with the standard education counterparts (p = 0.001). Overall satisfaction was unaffected by educational method. Computer-assisted instruction for colonoscopy provided better comprehension and greater satisfaction with the adequacy of education than standard education. Computer-assisted instruction helps physicians meet their educational responsibilities with no decrement to the interpersonal aspects of the patient-physician relationship.
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