Strategies to help patients understand risks

  title={Strategies to help patients understand risks},
  author={John Paling},
  journal={BMJ : British Medical Journal},
  pages={745 - 748}
  • J. Paling
  • Published 25 September 2003
  • Medicine
  • BMJ : British Medical Journal
Explaining risks to patients in an effective way is an essential part of ensuring that consent is “informed.” A consultant in risk communication discusses the strategies that can help doctors to communicate risks clearly, and thereby also build closer relationships with their patients Fig 2 Paling Perspective Scale ©–for giving perspective to risks of low order of probability.16 From research report by Small P et al17 Fig 3 Paling Palette© –for displaying most medical risks with a… 
Communicating risk to patients and the public.
Discussing a patient's cardiovascular risk, their risk reduction from taking a statin, the risks and benefits of colorectal screening, or the truth behind the tabloids latest claim that vegetable X reduces the risk of cancer Y by 50%, are all examples of everyday general practice consultations that involve communication about risk information.
Effective Communication of Personalized Risks and Patient Preferences During Surgical Informed Consent Using Data Visualization: Qualitative Semistructured Interview Study With Patients After Surgery
It is found that patients preferred the visual consent tool to current text-based documents and had no unified preferences for risk visualization, suggesting that patient concerns were not often represented in existing risk calculators.
Explaining risks and benefits
  • P. Baxter
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Developmental medicine and child neurology
  • 2011
Discussing the risks and benefits of an intervention, or of not intervening, and the risks associated with a condition is an essential part of clinical practice. However, it is surprising that the
Data Visualization for Surgical Informed Consent to Communicate Personalized Risks and Patient Preferences
Key elements that influence effective risk communication in the perioperative setting are identified and it is found that patient preference is variable and should influence choices for risk presentation and visualization.
Flexible rather than standardised approaches to communicating risks in health care
  • A. Edwards
  • Medicine
    Quality and Safety in Health Care
  • 2004
A sufficiently flexible approach to risk communication is needed to accommodate a wide range of patient interpretation and preferences for information, and to pay attention to the potential pitfalls of “framing”.
Does information form matter when giving tailored risk information to patients in clinical settings? A review of patients’ preferences and responses
The apparent importance of the accompanying discourse between patient and clinician appears to be necessary in order to impart meaning to information on “risk,” irrespective of whether the material is personalized, or even presented in a vivid way.
Presenting treatment safety data: subjective interpretations of objective information.
Graphical presentation of psoriasis safety data is used to illustrate how patients subjectively interpret objective information, resulting in certain likely perceptions by the patient.
Presenting risk information in sexual and reproductive health care
Presenting risk information to patients can be optimised using a number of strategies, including a range of structured, tailored presentation styles; interactive formats are best.


Explaining risks: turning numerical data into meaningful pictures
Whether the shift towards a greater use of information in consultations is helpful and how information can be used without losing the benefits that are traditionally associated with the art, rather than the science, of medicine are explored.
Patients’ Understanding of Risk Associated with Medication Use
An overview of a number of studies involving members of the general public, patients, and hospital doctors, that evaluated the utility of the EC guideline descriptors is provided, finding that people significantly over-estimated the likelihood of adverse effects occurring, given specific verbal descriptors.
The role of risk and benefit perception in informed consent for surgery.
Most patients failed to understand the risks and benefits associated with CEA, and some patients' estimates of stroke risk were actually greater than the perceived potential benefit of surgery in terms of risk reduction.
Simple tools for understanding risks: from innumeracy to insight
A glance at the literature shows a shocking lack of statistical understanding of the outcomes of modern technologies, from standard screening tests for HIV infection to DNA evidence.
Communication about risk: diversity among primary care professionals.
The complexity of risk communication and diversity of influences on it will require wide-ranging interventions in order to address them and standardized communication may be a difficult goal to attain.
Verbal Expressions of Probability in Informed Consent Litigation
It was found that subjective verbal expressions of probability are used in the litigation setting, and that such expressions represent broad ranges of numeric probabilities.
On the elicitation of preferences for alternative therapies.
It is suggested that an awareness of variations in the way information is presented to patients influence their choices between alternative therapies could help reduce bias and improve the quality of medical decision making.
Physician gender effects in medical communication: a meta-analytic review.
Female primary care physicians engage in more communication that can be considered patient centered and have longer visits than their male colleagues, and gender-related practice patterns in some subspecialties may differ from those evident in primary care.