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Risk Communication

Most of us spend most of our time dealing with individual interventions and conditions. We get right into the details of healthcare, seeing the trees in exquisite detail, but miss the broad sweep of the wood.

One example of woods so often overlooked is adherence to therapy, because many of us just do not take our medicines or follow good advice. Another broad sweep is the whole issue of how we as patients understand information given to us because of problems with numbers and words. Perhaps the two broad sweeps are linked.

Much of this Bandolier looks at risk communication. It does not have a wealth of evidence, nor is much of the evidence we have easy to use. There are no simple solutions, but there may be beginnings. Bandolier looks at evidence that patients, and some professionals, do not understand numbers. It also presents several ways of expressing risks, taken from a powerful new book on the subject that has taken our fancy. Bandolier has also created a new section on its website on risk, chance, and probability, dedicated to Dr Richard Price (1723-1791).

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