This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
In this review we examine the effectiveness of computerised reminders, delivered immediately via computer screen. We address the following primary hypotheses:
1. On-screen computer based reminders are more effective compared with no intervention.
2. On-screen computer based reminders are more effective compared with other interventions.
3. On-screen computer based reminders combined with other interventions are more effective compared with no intervention.
4. On-screen computer based reminders combined with other interventions are more effective compared with on-screen computer based reminders alone.
We also address the following secondary hypotheses:
Type of reminder:
5. Reminders that include some individual patient-specific information are more effective than generic reminders.
6. Reminders that indicate that a response should be recorded or given are more effective than reminders that do not require a response.
Development of the reminder:
7. Reminders developed with the involvement of target clinicians are more effective than reminders developed without their participation.
Delivery of the reminder:
8. Reminders delivered within a consultation are more effective than reminders delivered outwith a consultation.
9. Reminders delivered by or with the knowledge of the target clinician's colleagues or patients are more effective than reminders delivered by other means.
Content of the reminder:
10. Reminders that offer explicit advice are more effective than reminders that offer implicit advice or no advice at all.
11. Reminders that include an explanation of their content or advice are more effective than reminders that do not include this.
12. Reminders that are explicitly from or justified by reference to an influential source are more effective than reminders from another source. An influential source is a person or body likely to be perceived as credible by the target clinician.
Behaviour targeted by the reminder:
13. Reminders will vary in effectiveness systematically according to the targeted activity.
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