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Shared Decision Making in Health CareAchieving evidence-based patient choice$
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Glyn Elwyn, Adrian Edwards, and Rachel Thompson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723448.001.0001

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Making sense of numbers about health risks—The Facts Box

Making sense of numbers about health risks—The Facts Box

Chapter:
(p.123) Chapter 19 Making sense of numbers about health risks—The Facts Box
Source:
Shared Decision Making in Health Care
Author(s):

Michelle McDowell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723448.003.0019

People are frequently faced with the task of making a variety of health decisions, from decisions about preventative screening, to taking medications, or deciding whether or not to have a surgical procedure. For many health decisions, there is no single best option, and people need to be informed about their chances of experiencing the benefits and harms of each option. However, risk information is not always easy to find and numbers can be used to mislead, emphasizing benefits or reducing harms. Balanced and transparent presentation of risk information is essential for promoting risk literacy to help people understand and make good decisions about health risks. The Facts Box is a simple decision tool that presents data about the benefits and harms of treatments in a summary table and has been shown to facilitate comprehension and understanding of health information. Facts Boxes can be used by patients and health professionals alike.

Keywords:   Facts Box, risk literacy, risk communication, shared decision making, health literacy, numeracy

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