Visual Aids Can Help People Better Understand Health Risks

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The article discusses findings from recent research that show that people consider risk information easier to understand and recall when it’s presented using a visual aid. Furthermore, it typically takes people less time to understand information when it’s presented visually than when it’s presented numerically.

The article argues that in order to be able to make sound health decisions, patients need to understand the risks and the benefits that come with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyle choices. But many people have difficulty understanding the numerical concepts that are essential for understanding risk-benefit information.

It reports research showing that well-designed visual aids can be particularly effective for vulnerable populations, such as older adults, high-risk patients, immigrant populations, and those who have poor numeracy skills and little medical knowledge.

The full research article is available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354448/

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