The potential of computers in patient education

Celette Sugg Skinner, Juliette C. Siegfried, Michelle C. Kegler, Victor J. Strecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Typical computer programs for patient education are didactic and fail to tailor information to an individual's specific needs. New technology greatly enhances the potential of computers in patient education. Computer-assisted instruction programs can now elicit information from users before leading them through problem-solving exercises. New authoring systems enable health professionals to develop their own programs. The capacity to elicit and report back information about factors that influence patients' health behaviors give the newest computer programs one of the strengths of face-to-face patient counseling: the ability to tailor an educational message for an individual patient. These programs are not intended to replace but rather to enhance personal interaction between providers and patients. This article describes the advantages of using computers for individualizing patient education and assessing trends across groups of patients. Innovative programs and features to look for in programs and equipment selection are also described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Computers
  • Informatics
  • Patient education
  • Persuasive communication
  • Tailoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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