rss
Qual Health Care 10:i14-i18 doi:10.1136/qhc.0100014..
  • I. Communicating and understanding risk

The extent of patients' understanding of the risk of treatments

  1. A J Lloyd, research fellow
  1. Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK
  1. Dr A Lloyd ajlloyd{at}heru.abdn.ac.uk

    Abstract

    The scientific understanding of how people perceive and code risks and then use this information in decision making has progressed greatly in the last 20 years. There is considerable evidence that people employ simplifying heuristics in judgement and decision making. These heuristics may lead to bias in how people interpret information. However, much of our understanding of risk perception is based on laboratory studies. It is much less clear whether risk perception in the real world (as in the case of medical treatments) exhibits the same patterns and biases. This paper reviews the published literature on risk perception in patients who face substantial treatment risks. It examines how accurate patients' perception of risk is, what factors affect the perception of risk, and several possible explanations for why patients' risk perception is not always accurate.

    Free sample

    This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of BMJ Quality & Safety.
    View free sample issue >>

    Email alerts

    Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

     

    Navigate This Article