Video-based observation research: A systematic review of studies in outpatient health care settings

Elizabeth H. Golembiewski, Nataly R. Espinoza Suarez, Andrea P. Maraboto Escarria, Andrew X. Yang, Marleen Kunneman, Leslie C. Hassett, Victor M. Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the use of video-based observation research in outpatient health care encounter research. Methods: We conducted a systematic search of MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane and other databases from database inception to October 2020 for reports of studies that used video recording to investigate ambulatory patient-clinician interactions. Two authors independently reviewed all studies for eligibility and extracted information related to study setting and purpose, participant recruitment and consent processes, data collection procedures, method of analysis, and participant sample characteristics. Results: 175 articles were included. Most studies (65%) took place in a primary care or family practice setting. Study objectives were overwhelmingly focused on patient-clinician communication (81%). Reporting of key study elements was inconsistent across included studies. Conclusion: Video recording has been used as a research method in outpatient health care in a limited number and scope of clinical contexts and research domains. In addition, reporting of study design, methodological characteristics, and ethical considerations needs improvement. Practice implications: Video recording as a method has been relatively underutilized within many clinical and research contexts. This review will serve as a practical resource for health care researchers as they plan and execute future video-based studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-67
Number of pages26
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Clinical encounter research
  • Patient-clinician communication
  • Systematic review
  • Video-based methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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