Objective: To explore how effectively information presentation formats used in a patient decision aid communicated the ability of a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug to slow the rate of progression of rheumatoid arthritis related structural joint damage (SJD).
Methods: 91 first year psychology students and 91 RA patients participated in a prospective randomized, single blind, factorial experimental design evaluating the effect of four information formats on: satisfaction with risk communication, verbatim and gist recall of a hypothetical anti-rheumatic drug's ability to slow the rate of progression of SJD.
Results: Both groups underestimated the hypothetical drug's ability to slow SJD. Formats that supported the narrative statement with a reinforcing graphic element resulted in recall closer to the true value. Comparison of the results from testing of RA patients and college students were remarkably similar across formats.
Conclusion: Rate of progression as communicated by narrative statement plus a graphic element (i.e. speedometer metaphor or pictograph) aided recall better than a narrative statement alone. Our results suggest that testing decision aid components with non-patients may provide data generalizable to patient populations.
Practice implications: Graphics must be used carefully in patient decision aids as they can enhance recall, but may also introduce unintended recall bias.
Copyright Â© 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.