Effects of presenting the baseline risk when communicating absolute and relative risk reductions
Natter, H. and Berry, D.C. (2005) Effects of presenting the baseline risk when communicating absolute and relative risk reductions. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 10 (4). pp. 326-334. ISSN 1354-8506
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13548500500093407
This study compares relative and absolute forms of presenting risk information about influenza and the need for vaccination. It investigates whether differences in people's risk estimates and their evaluations of risk information, as a result of the different presentation formats, are still apparent when they are provided with information about the baseline level of risk. The results showed that, in the absence of baseline information, the relative risk format resulted in higher ratings of satisfaction, perceived effectiveness of vaccination, and likelihood of being vaccinated. However, these differences were not apparent when baseline information was presented. Overall, provision of baseline information resulted in more accurate risk estimates and more positive evaluations of the risk messages. It is recommended that, in order to facilitate shared and fully informed decision making, information about baseline level of risk should be included in all health communications specifying risk reductions, irrespective of the particular format adopted.