Risk information & risk research

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We have to take decisions based on risk information all the time. But risk is hard to interpret and difficult to communicate and communicating risk information is challenging. How people perceive risk depends on several factors, like their education and health literacy. Despite this, we have to take decisions based on risk information all the time.

Lay people, patients, policy makers and health care professionals have to value risk information to decide whether or not to use certain medical treatments, preventive interventions or technology. So in the end, risks concern all of us and it is crucial that risks are communicated clearly to the entire population.

Our research is multi-disciplinary and we use methods from health economy, mainly discrete choice experiments (DCE), and best-worst scaling to capture the complexities of people’s preferences, adding different perspectives to our expertise on risk communicaiton and medical decision making. We can cover the overlaps between social sciences and health economics, ethics and philosophy, medicine and nursing, and law. Some examples are risk ethics, medical decision making and risk communication, cost-effectiveness analysis, research ethics, clinical ethics, and medical law. 

Venn diagram describing CRB's expertise in medical decision making and risk communication

Currently, we are looking at the health related decisions that individuals make where they have to interpret difficult concepts and understand risk. This is hard, especially when probabilities become very small. Our research deals with the management of genetic risk information, whether researchers should disclose incidental findings in biobank research, arthritis risk communication, antibiotic resistance, cardiovascular risk communication in primary care, and people's preferences and perceptions when it comes to risk for heart and lung disease.