- BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to systematically compare two audiotape formats for the delivery of information relevant to informed consent to participate in a clinical trial in breast oncology, and to establish the feasibility of adding a consultation recording protocol to a clinical treatment trial. METHOD: Participants were 69 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer and 21 oncologists from 5 Canadian cancer centers. Patients were block randomized to one of three groups: 1. standardized audiotape; 2. consultation audiotape; or 3. both audiotapes. Patients received their tapes immediately following the clinical trial consultation. Patient outcomes included perception of being informed about clinical trials, knowledge of information relevant to providing informed consent to a clinical trial, and satisfaction with communication during the consultation. RESULTS: The consultation audiotapes contained less trial-related information than the standardized audiotape but there were no differences in clinical trial knowledge or perception of being informed across the intervention groups. Patients expressed a marginally significant preference for consultation audiotapes over standardized audiotapes. CONCLUSIONS: Patients tended to prefer receiving an audiotape of their own consultation over a standardized audiotape. The majority of oncologists considered the audiotape intervention feasible but were less enthusiastic about being involved in a larger study given the accrual challenges that arose when trying to "piggy-back" one randomized controlled trial on an existing clinical trial.