A188: Doctors’ views on audio recording of oncology consultations by patients

Hemal Ariyaratne1,David Woolf1

1Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK

Presenting date: Monday 2 November
Presenting time: 13.10-14.00


Audio recording has been shown to be a useful tool in oncology consultations, and is positively rated by patients [1-4]. However, there is limited published work looking at the views of doctors on audio recording during consultations. A previous survey in Australia has shown that only a minority of oncologists favoured giving audio tapes to patients [5]. We investigated the views of doctors practising oncology in the United Kingdom on this issue.




A pre-tested semi-structured online questionnaire was sent to 146 medical and clinical oncology doctors in the United Kingdom, from July to September 2014. The survey was performed and responses analysed on the UCL Opinio survey platform.


48 trainees and consultants in oncology responded to the survey. The median duration of experience in the specialty was 5.5 years (range 1 - 12 years). 63% reported that they had encountered patients who wanted to make audio recordings during consultations. 73% of respondents said that they would allow patients to make audio recordings, while 25% said they would not allow it. The main reasons cited by doctors who favoured audio recording were improved retention of information, improved patient satisfaction and improved doctor-patient relationship. Doctors who would not permit audio recordings reported concerns about sharing on social media, data protection issues and lack of recording of non-verbal information. 60% of respondents were not in favour of all NHS Trusts adopting a policy allowing all patients to make their own audio recordings. 79% of doctors would not allow video recordings of consultations by patients in their oncology practice.




The majority of doctors surveyed would allow patients to make audio recordings of oncology consultations. However, many doctors continue to have concerns about privacy and data sharing, particularly in relation to audio recording of consultations being adopted as a policy throughout the NHS.