Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits. Communicating Numerical Health Information

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Date Developed: 11/14/2019. Source: National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region. Presenter(s): Michelle Burda. Type: Webinar. Level: Intermediate. Length: 90 minutes.


Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numbers. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from an individual's perspective and to understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand. In this 1.5 hour class, participants will also be introduced to several NLM and NIH tools that will help in the development of educational materials. Audience is anyone providing health information to the general public, including healthcare instructors, public and medical librarians, patient educators.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

• Understand their role in communicating health risks and benefits to individuals.

• Understand risk and benefit statistics from an individual's perspective.

• Understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand.

• Understand that numeracy is a key component of health literacy and shared decision making in managing one’s health.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.