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.