Book #2: “Helping Patients Understand Risk, 7 Strategies for Successful Communication” (2006). By John Paling, PhD.
You’ll Never Look at Health Risks
the Same Again
This book was suggested to me by Audrey Riffenburgh, MA, of Albuquerque, NM, one of the best plain language health education professionals in the United States. This book may be one of the first to use powerful infographics (before the term became popular) in health education. It’s loaded with infographics that visually inform complex concepts using simple visuals.
Paling’s perspective regarding communication is with the patient in mind, and on making the priority of the communicator to be understood. He clearly explains the significance of relative risk and real risk. One of his greatest contributions is “The 1,000 People” graphic. It’s a box with 1,000 small human figures inside. Real risk means how many people out of the 1,000 will experience the actual result of the risk. That number of small figures is colored in and thus stands out from the rest.