(35) Tables of side effect risks

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Many health information displays use tables to compare multiple alternatives over an even longer list of dimensions (risks, benefits, costs, etc.) The goal of this image is to use visual cues to make it easier to make such comparisons across multiple options.

What’s special about this image?

This novel graph format uses 3 cues to each side effect risk: Position in the larger horizontal bar space, height of the miniature bars, and the risk number next to each bar. This gives the reader multiple cues to use for making risk comparisons.

This graphic made the difference in treatments feel larger than for other graphics. People were also less able to report a single number from the graph, as compared to other graphics. As a result, we do NOT recommend this graphic.
  • My goal
  • Risk tradeoffs
  • Differences in likelihood
  • Details or gist?
  • Verbatim recall
  • Gist understanding
  • Data I have
  • Risk estimate
  • Health conditions
  • Cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Side effects
  • Treatment choice
  • Graphic type
  • Bar graph