(63) The benefits of risk reduction

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This display tries to help patients compare their current risk withoutscreening tests versus their reduced risk if they have screening tests. In particular, it aims to help patients understand the absolute size of the possible risk reduction.

What’s special about this image?

This graphic uses a number line with a color gradient. The total risk without cancer screening tests (2.5%) is expanded to show the proportion of that risk that could be reduced with regular screening tests.

Note that the overall number line only goes from 0%-40%, thereby distorting (contrary to recommendations) the perception of the level of overall risk.

Note that the expanded section is limited to exactly the patient’s baseline risk. This allows it to establish a new “reference class” so that the two sections divide the (no-testing) risk into its two components.

This image has the strongest effect of perceptions but performs particularly poorly on accuracy so is not an image we would recommend.
  • My goal
  • Differences in likelihood
  • Raise or lower concern
  • Details or gist?
  • Verbatim recall
  • Gist understanding
  • Data I have
  • Risk estimate
  • Health conditions
  • Cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Graphic type
  • Number Line Graph
  • Callout
  • Color gradient
  • Bar graph