(81) 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 graphic combines line graphics (each shown in a small amount of vertical space) to show how each risk varies over time with micro-sized icon arrays that can help to clarify the exact proportion of patients (out of 100) who would be expected to experience that problem at that point in time.

Note also that the icon array blocks are color coded to show higher vs. lower risks, which should help viewers make gist comparisons (e.g., orange is worse than green) and have better gist memory of risks as high or low.
  • My goal
  • Differences in likelihood
  • Risk tradeoffs
  • Details or gist?
  • Gist understanding
  • Data I have
  • Risk estimate
  • Risk over time
  • Health conditions
  • Side effects
  • Cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Treatment choice
  • Graphic type
  • Color gradient
  • Icon array
  • Line graph
  • X-Y graph
  • Tables