Making numbers matter: present and future research in risk communication.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To summarize existing research on individual numeracy and methods for presenting risk information to patients. METHODS: We selectively retrieved articles from MEDLINE and the Social Sciences Citation Index. RESULTS: Many Americans have low numeracy skills, a deficit that impedes effective health care. Approaches to risk communication vary in current practice, but how risks are presented can significantly affect both patients' risk perceptions and their knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: Adhering to some basic principles for presenting risk information to patients can improve understanding. However, different risk-communication methods may be needed for individuals with high versus low levels of numeracy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fagerlin, A; Ubel, PA; Smith, DM; Zikmund-Fisher, BJ

Published Date

  • September 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 Suppl 1 /

Start / End Page

  • S47 - S56

PubMed ID

  • 17931136

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17931136

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1945-7359

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1087-3244

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5555/ajhb.2007.31.supp.s47


  • eng