The effects of a humorous video on memory for orthodontic treatment consent information

The effects of a humorous video on memory for orthodontic treatment consent information
Original Article
Timothy P. Levine
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, February 2020; 157(2) pp 240-244
Communication of treatment information is critical in orthodontics. The challenge lies in doing so effectively such that patients will understand and remember, which is the definition of true informed consent. Previous studies have established that information is more readily remembered when presented using multimedia presentations. Likewise, humor has been shown to increase information retention.
Two videos, 1 humorous (H) and 1 unhumorous (U), were produced with identical information about orthodontic treatment consent. Thirty-eight new orthodontic patients were randomly selected and divided into H (n = 20) and U (n = 18) video groups. Identical questionnaires with multiple-choice responses to judge memory of the content were completed by both groups immediately after watching the video (T1) and 6 weeks later (T2). A one-tailed Welch’s t test was used to analyze the scores.
At T1, there was no significant difference in the scores of the questionnaire between H and U groups, whereas at T2, there was a significant difference between groups. The intragroup score difference was also analyzed, with a significant decrease from T1 to T2 in the U, but not H, group. Subjective questions were also asked regarding content. No significant differences were found between the groups regarding the informativeness of each video; however, willingness to watch again and memorability of the content were significantly higher in the H group.
Patients who received orthodontic treatment information presented with humor retained significantly more of that information after 6 weeks compared with patients who received the same information without humor. Patients who received the humorous content subjectively stated they were more likely to rewatch the video and also found the information presented in this manner to be more memorable.

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