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Simple and Multistate Survival Curves

Rakow, Tim and Wright, Rebecca J and Bull, Catherine and Spiegelhalter, David J (2012) 'Simple and Multistate Survival Curves.' Medical Decision Making, 32 (6). pp. 792-804. ISSN 0272-989X


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<jats:p> Objective and Sample: This investigation assessed the comprehension of survival curves in a community sample of 88 young and middle-aged adults when several aspects of good practice for graphical communication were implemented, and it compared comprehension for alternative presentation formats. Design, Method, and Measurements: After reading worked examples of using survival curves that provided explanation and answers, participants answered questions on survival data for pairs of treatments. Study 1 compared presenting survival curves for both treatments on the same figure against presentation via 2 separate figures. Study 2 compared presenting data for 3 possible outcome states via a single “multistate” figure for each treatment against presenting each outcome on a separate figure (with both treatments on the same figure). Both studies compared alternative forms of questioning (e.g., “number alive” versus “number dead”). Numeracy levels (self-rated and objective measures) were also assessed. Results: Comprehension was generally good—exceeding 90% correct answers on half the questions—and was similar across alternative graphical formats. Lower accuracy was observed for questions requiring a calculation but was significantly lower only when the requirement for calculation was not explicit (13%–28% decrements in performance). In study 1, this effect was most acute for those with lower levels of numeracy. Subjective (self-rated) numeracy and objective (measured) numeracy were both moderate positive predictors of overall task accuracy (r ≈ 0.3). Conclusions: A high degree of accuracy in extracting information from survival curves is possible, as long as any calculations that are required are made explicit (e.g., finding differences between 2 survival rates). Therefore, practitioners need not avoid using survival curves in discussions with patients, although clear and explicit explanations are important </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2012 15:25
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:40

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