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Med Decis Making. 2017 Aug;37(6):725-729. doi: 10.1177/0272989X17707198. Epub 2017 May 10.

Utilization of Continuous "Spinners" to Communicate Risk.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, Storrs, CT, USA (RFE).
2
Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA (SC).
3
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA (BRS).
4
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA (LF).
5
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA (LF).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As patients become more involved in their medical care, they must consider the specific probabilities of both positive and negative outcomes associated with different treatments. Patients who are low in numeracy may be at a disadvantage when making these decisions. This study examined the use of a "spinner" to present probabilistic information compared to a numerical format and icon array.

DESIGN:

Subjects ( n = 151) were asked to imagine they suffered from chronic back pain. Two equally effective medications, each with a different incidence of rare and common side effects, were described. Subjects were randomized to 1 of 3 risk presentation formats: numeric only, numeric with icon arrays, or numeric with spinners, and answered questions regarding their risk knowledge, medication preference, and how much they liked the presentation format.

RESULTS:

Compared with the numeric only format, both the spinner and icon array increased risk knowledge and were rated more likeable by subjects. Subjects viewing the spinner format were also more likely to prefer the pill with the lowest side-effect burden.

LIMITATIONS:

The relatively small size, convenience sample, and hypothetical scenario were limitations of this study.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of continuous spinners presents a new approach for communicating risk to patients that may aid in their decision making.

KEYWORDS:

decision tool; numeracy; risk communication; side effect

PMID:
28490227
PMCID:
PMC5498239
DOI:
10.1177/0272989X17707198
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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