Risk communication and prostate cancer: identifying which summary statistics are best understood by men

Dragan Ilic, Kerry Michele Murphy, Sally Elizabeth Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The format in which risk is communicated influences how patients make health care decisions. The same statistical information may be summarized differently according to relative risk reduction, absolute risk reduction, number needed to treat, or odds ratio. A total of 76 men participated in focus groups exploring their understanding of information about prostate cancer treatments when framed across these different formats. Using thematic analysis, it was identified that the study participant best understood information when outcomes were framed as an absolute risk reduction and in a positive frame. Patient education materials about prostate cancer treatment options should be reported as an increase in probability of survivorship rather than decrease in risk of mortality and incorporate impact of treatment on patient-centered quality-of-life outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497 - 504
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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