Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics / Edition 1

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Every day we are bombarded by television ads, public service announcements, and media reports warning of dire risks to our health and offering solutions to help us lower those risks. But many of these messages are incomplete, misleading, or exaggerated, leaving the average person misinformed and confused. Know Your Chances is a lively, accessible, and carefully researched book that can help consumers sort through this daily barrage by teaching them how to interpret the numbers behind the messages.
In clear and simple steps, the authors—all of them staff physicians at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont—take the mystery out of medical statistics. By learning to understand the medical statistics and knowing what questions to ask, readers will be able to see through the hype and find out what—if any—credible information remains. The book's easy-to-understand charts will help ordinary people put their health concerns into perspective.This short, reader-friendly volume will foster communication between patients and doctors and provide the basic critical-thinking skills necessary for navigating today's confusing health landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Short and simple. . . . . Present(s) the basic skills necessary in navigating today's confusing health-media landscape. "--Library Journal

" Delightful and educational reading, simple enough for laypeople to understand yet academic

enough to meet the needs of . . . . students."--Choice

"Know Your Chances is an accessible and empowering text."--Journal of Biosocial Science

"A great reminder that . . . medical claims should always be evaluated by how they affect you and your current state of health."--Tampa Tribune

Choice - L. Synovitz
“ Delightful and educational reading, simple enough for laypeople to understand yet academic enough to meet the needs of . . . . students.”
Journal Of Biosocial Science
“Know Your Chances is an accessible and empowering text.”
Tampa Tribune
“A great reminder that . . . medical claims should always be evaluated by how they affect you and your current state of health.”
Highlands Today
“A great reminder that . . . medical claims should always be evaluated by how they affect you and your current state of health.”
Time Magazine
“Read this book first and then think again.”
Library Journal

"How to see through the hype in medical news, ads, and public service announcements" boasts the cover of this accessible and reader-friendly book by Dartmouth Medical School faculty and researchers Woloshin, Lisa M. Schwartz, M.D., and H. Gilbert Welch, M.D. (Should I Be Tested for Cancer? ). Assaulted by incomplete, misleading, and overstated health messages by the media, health journals, and pharmaceutical companies, the general public is poorly prepared in how to read the information critically, how to assess credible evidence, and how to interpret statistics. The authors here set out to correct these shortcomings by explaining how to understand risk, judge the benefit of health interventions, and consider outcomes. The subject is complex, but the text is short and simple. Quick, useful quizzes complete coverage and verify that the reader has understood the material. "Learn More" boxes provide easy opportunities to investigate a subject in more detail. A "Quick Summary," glossary, and "Credible Sources of Health Statistics" section are helpful in presenting the basic skills necessary in navigating today's confusing health-media landscape. Recommended for all libraries.-James Swanton, Harlem Hosp. Lib., New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520252226
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 158
  • Sales rank: 814,225
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, and H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, are general internists, faculty members at Dartmouth Medical School, and researchers in the VA Outcomes Group, Department of Veterans Affairs, White River Junction, Vermont. Woloshin and Schwartz have written many articles together for leading medical journals, and Welch is the author of Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why (UC Press).

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Table of Contents

What This Book Is About

1. Understanding Risk
2. Putting Risk in Perspective
3. Risk Charts: A Way to Get Perspective

4. Judging the Benefit of a Health
5. Not All Benefits Are Equal: Understand the Outcome

6. Consider the Downsides
7. Do the Benefits Outweigh the Downsides?

8. Beware of Exaggerated Importance
9. Beware of Exaggerated Certainty
10. Who's Behind the Numbers?

Quick Summary
Number Converter
Risk Charts
Credible Sources of Health Statistics



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