Repetition improves older and younger adult memory for automated appointment messages

Daniel Morrow, Von O. Leirer, Lisa M. Carver, Elizabeth Decker Tanke, Alison D. McNally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automated telephone messaging systems have dramatically expanded communication about health service appointments, but few studies have directly investigated these messages. The present study investigated whether message repetition (1, 2, or 3 presentations) and listener age (mean age = 71 or 19 years) improved memory for automated appointment messages. Repetition improved older and younger adult memory for appointment information. Moreover, 2 presentations reduced age differences in accuracy of answering questions about the messages. This was not the case for free recall, suggesting that older adults differentially benefited from repetition only when provided with additional retrieval support. These findings show that older as well as younger adults benefit from at least 1 repetition of appointment messages. Actual or potential applications of this research include the use of repetition to improve comprehension of automated telephone messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-204
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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