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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Background Decision aid developers have to convey complex task-specific numeric information in a way that minimizes bias and promotes understanding of the options available within a particular decision. Whereas our companion paper summarizes fundamental issues, this article focuses on more complex, task-specific aspects of presenting numeric information in patient decision aids. Methods As part of the International Patient Decision Aids Standards third evidence update, we gathered an expert panel of 9 international experts who revised and expanded the topics covered in the 2013 review working in groups of 2 to 3 to update the evidence, based on their expertise andmore »targeted searches of the literature. The full panel then reviewed and provided additional revisions, reaching consensus on the final version. Results Five of the 10 topics addressed more complex task-specific issues. We found strong evidence for using independent event rates and/or incremental absolute risk differences for the effect size of test and screening outcomes. Simple visual formats can help to reduce common judgment biases and enhance comprehension but can be misleading if not well designed. Graph literacy can moderate the effectiveness of visual formats and hence should be considered in tool design. There is less evidence supporting the inclusion of personalized and interactive risk estimates. Discussion More complex numeric information. such as the size of the benefits and harms for decision options, can be better understood by using incremental absolute risk differences alongside well-designed visual formats that consider the graph literacy of the intended audience. More research is needed into when and how to use personalized and/or interactive risk estimates because their complexity and accessibility may affect their feasibility in clinical practice.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  3. Background Shared decision making requires evidence to be conveyed to the patient in a way they can easily understand and compare. Patient decision aids facilitate this process. This article reviews the current evidence for how to present numerical probabilities within patient decision aids. Methods Following the 2013 review method, we assembled a group of 9 international experts on risk communication across Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We expanded the topics covered in the first review to reflect emerging areas of research. Groups of 2 to 3 authors reviewed the relevant literature based on theirmore »expertise and wrote each section before review by the full authorship team. Results Of 10 topics identified, we present 5 fundamental issues in this article. Although some topics resulted in clear guidance (presenting the chance an event will occur, addressing numerical skills), other topics (context/evaluative labels, conveying uncertainty, risk over time) continue to have evolving knowledge bases. We recommend presenting numbers over a set time period with a clear denominator, using consistent formats between outcomes and interventions to enable unbiased comparisons, and interpreting the numbers for the reader to meet the needs of varying numeracy. Discussion Understanding how different numerical formats can bias risk perception will help decision aid developers communicate risks in a balanced, comprehensible manner and avoid accidental “nudging” toward a particular option. Decisions between probability formats need to consider the available evidence and user skills. The review may be useful for other areas of science communication in which unbiased presentation of probabilities is important.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  4. The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has been accompanied by increased discussion of vaccine hesitancy. However, it is unclear if there are shared patterns between general vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection, or if these are two different concepts. This study characterized rejection of a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine, and compared patterns of association between general vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection. The survey was conducted online March 20-22, 2020. Participants answered questions on vaccine hesitancy and responded if they would accept the vaccine given different safety and effectiveness profiles. We assessed differences in COVID-19 rejection and general vaccine hesitancy throughmore »logistic regressions. Among 713 participants, 33.0% were vaccine hesitant, and 18.4% would reject a COVID-19 vaccine. Acceptance varied by effectiveness profile: 10.2% would reject a 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine, but 32.4% would reject a 50% effective vaccine. Those vaccine hesitant were significantly more likely to reject COVID-19 vaccination [odds ratio (OR): 5.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.39, 9.11]. In multivariable logistic regression models, there were similar patterns for vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection by gender, race/ethnicity, family income, and political affiliation. But the direction of association flipped by urbanicity (P=0.0146, with rural dwellers less likely to be COVID-19 vaccine rejecters but more likely to be vaccine hesitant in general), and age (P=0.0037, with fewer pronounced differences across age for COVID-19 vaccine rejection, but a gradient of stronger vaccine hesitancy in general among younger ages). During the COVID-19 epidemic’s early phase, patterns of vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection were relatively similar. A significant minority would reject a COVID-19 vaccine, especially one with less-than-ideal effectiveness. Preparations for introducing the COVID-19 vaccine should anticipate substantial hesitation and target concerns, especially among younger adults.« less