Physicians try to help them with ‘take home’ materials. A clinic I visited recently had a sort of 4-page paper FAQ for their patients, with simple diagrams to explain the course to treatment. A nurse circled and checked the most relevant information for the patient.
A multimedia experience with a great user interface is possible with mobile devices. Such an application, called MyCare, was developed at the Mayo Clinic for heart patients. Here is a great video that demonstrated how the application works:
There was a notable limitation with the app – it was only available for use in the Clinic because of privacy and security concerns.