(64) Showing how side effects change over time

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It is very hard to show patients how risks vary over time and how those time patterns themselves differ between options. This image illustrates this problem using the case of prostate cancer treatment. It tries to visually explain how likely a patient is to experience each of 2 common side effects with each of 2 different treatment options over multiple timepoints.

What’s special about this image?

This is a straightforward multiple line graphic showing risk levels over time. It uses color cues to focus attention on the risks of different types of problems (urinary vs. sexual). It also uses fairly subtle point icons to distinguish which risks correspond to surgery versus radiation.
  • My goal
  • Risk tradeoffs
  • Differences in likelihood
  • Details or gist?
  • Gist understanding
  • Data I have
  • Risk over time
  • Risk estimate
  • Health conditions
  • Prostate cancer
  • Side effects
  • Treatment choice
  • Cancer
  • Graphic type
  • X-Y graph
  • Line graph