A Patient's Guide to Low Back Pain: A Complete Interactive Computer Software Program for Patient Education

Peter L. Elkin, MD
JAMA. 1994;272(17):1387-1388. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520170099050.
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"Information processing and communications tasks pervade essentially all activities of the health care practitioner."1 Multimedia educational programs are becoming increasingly available to assist in bridging the gap between clinicians' allotted time for patient education and patients' need for a better understanding of their illnesses. Multimedia presentations provide graphical support for textual information and often link voice narratives, to decrease the intellectual burden for the patient.2

Traditionally, patient education involves direct interaction with the prescribing physician, which has the advantage of interactive evaluation by both the patient and the physician. The disadvantages of this contact alone are that the patient may remember only part of the conversation after leaving the office and that the interaction can be time-consuming in a demanding and busy practice. Attempts to supplement this dialogue with pamphlets and videotapes are becoming increasingly popular. For a pamphlet to contain as much information as this computer-based multimedia


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