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Patient Educ Couns. 2019 Mar;102(3):467-473. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2018.10.014. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Favourable understandability, but poor actionability: An evaluation of online type 2 diabetes risk calculators.

Author information

1
The University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Sydney, Australia; The University of Sydney, Ask, Share, Know: Rapid Evidence for General Practice Decision (ASK-GP), Centre for Research Excellence, Discipline of General Practice, The University of Sydney, Australia. Electronic address: Michael.fajardo@sydney.edu.au.
2
The University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Sydney, Australia.
3
The University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Sydney, Australia; The University of Sydney, Ask, Share, Know: Rapid Evidence for General Practice Decision (ASK-GP), Centre for Research Excellence, Discipline of General Practice, The University of Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study aim was to identify all freely available online diabetes risk calculators and to evaluate their suitability for patients with low health literacy.

METHODS:

Online diabetes risk calculators were identified by an environmental scan. The Patient Education Material Assessment Tool for Printable Materials was used to determine understandability and actionability scores. A high-risk profile was used to compare the risk results obtained with each calculator.

RESULTS:

Thirty-five risk calculators were identified; 51% had no described model, 23% reported absolute risk and 31% used visual aids. The estimated risk for the same profile ranged from low to very high. The mean understandability score was 79% (SD = 19%) and the mean actionability score was 42% (SD = 30%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Online diabetes risk calculators are generally understandable, but not very actionable, and may not be completely suitable for use by patients with low health literacy. The estimated risk is highly variable depending on the underlying model used for the calculation.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Patients and healthcare providers need to exercise caution when selecting a diabetes risk calculator.

KEYWORDS:

Diabetes mellitus; Diabetes prevention; Health literacy; Patient education; Risk assessment; Risk calculators; Risk communication

PMID:
30389187
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2018.10.014

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