Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Doctor have you confused, ask for a better explanation

When your doctor talks to you about the pros and cons of a prescription medication or a particular course of treatment, do you just nod your head and smile, while wondering what the heck she means? Turns out you are not alone.

Doctor have you confused, ask for a better explanation

When your doctor talks to you about the pros and cons of a prescription medication or a particular course of treatment, do you just nod your head and smile, while wondering what the heck she means? Turns out you are not alone. 

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that many patients in both the U.S. and Germany have a poor grasp on statistics that doctors use to explain the risks of particular treatment. For example, 30 percent of people surveyed in both countries couldn’t say which ratio - 1 in 10, 1 in 100 or 1 in 1,000 - represented a larger risk.

The researchers from Germany and Spain concluded that doctors should seek alternative ways of explaining risks and benefits to patients such as analogies or visual methods such as graphs.

About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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