Understanding the role of numeracy in health: proposed theoretical framework and practical insights.


Journal Article

Numeracy-that is, how facile people are with mathematical concepts and their applications-is gaining importance in medical decision making and risk communication. This article proposes six critical functions of health numeracy. These functions are integrated into a theoretical framework on health numeracy that has implications for risk communication and medical decision-making processes. The authors examine practical underpinnings for targeted interventions aimed at improving such processes as a function of health numeracy. They hope that the proposed functions and theoretical framework will spur more research to determine how an understanding of health numeracy can lead to more effective communication and decision outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lipkus, IM; Peters, E

Published Date

  • December 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1065 - 1081

PubMed ID

  • 19834054

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19834054

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6127

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1090-1981

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1090198109341533


  • eng