• Conference Proceeding

Understanding the frequency and severity of side effects: Linguistic, numeric, and visual representations

Citation

Hubal, R., & Day, R. S. (2006). Understanding the frequency and severity of side effects: Linguistic, numeric, and visual representations. In Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposium 2006 Workshop: Argumentation for Consumers of Healthcare, Technical Report SS-06-01, pp. 69–75. .

Abstract

Side effects for prescription drugs vary in their severity and
frequency of occurrence. Understanding the status of a
given drug on both these dimensions is important for
physicians during the prescribing process, for regulators
and industry in the approval and safety review process, and
for patients in the compliance process. There is a wide
variety of terms used to describe severity and frequency
information in both professional information sources (such
as the approved label) and patient sources (such as
pharmacy leaflets). The experiments reported here examine
how people understand these terms, whether laypersons
interpret them in the same ways as professionals, and the
consequences of providing terms in alternative linguistic,
numeric, and visual forms. This work holds implications
for risk communication for healthcare providers and
patients, the needs of low-literacy and low-numeracy
audiences, and health literacy in general.