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 computer-generated paper reminders to health care professionals and address the following primary hypotheses:
1. Computer-generated paper reminders are effective compared with no intervention.
2. Computer-generated paper reminders are effective compared with other interventions.
3. Computer-generated paper reminders combined with other interventions are effective compared with no intervention.
4. Computer-generated paper reminders combined with other interventions are effective compared with manual 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 a response should be recorded or given are more effective than reminders that do not require a response.
Development of reminder:
7. Reminders developed with the involvement of target clinicians are more effective than reminders developed without their participation.
Delivery of reminder:
8. 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 reminder:
9. Reminders that offer explicit advice on patient management are more effective than reminders that offer general information only, for example about prevalence of a disease.
10. Reminders that include an explanation of their content or advice are more effective than reminders that do not include this.
11. 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 intervention:
12. Reminders will vary in effectiveness systematically according to the targeted activity.