Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Risky business...

This news item talks about a study done to see if providing individuals with a primer on health risks and interventions would help them understand those risks and interventions. (See Steven Woloshin et al. "The Effectiveness of a Primer to Help People Understand Risk: Two Randomized Trials in Distinct Populations" Ann Intern Med, Feb 2007; 146: 256 - 265.) Not bad but it's on a pretty high level... it would have been better to test particular methods of teaching within the primer than testing the effectiveness of the primer as a whole. What they basically proved was giving people info about something helped most of them learn a little more about something. And although they say there's never been any study like this, I highly doubt that. There's certainly work on effectiveness of teaching materials and methods in the education literature. Maybe there's never been anything done specifically in the area of learning about health risks assessment but surely this can be generalized.

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