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Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits. Communicating Numerical Health Information

Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numbers. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from an individual's perspective and to understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand. In this 1.5 hour class, participants will also be introduced to several NLM and NIH tools that will help in the development of educational materials. Audience is anyone providing health information to the general public, including healthcare instructors, public and medical librarians, patient educators.


Participants will be able:

  • To identify their role in risk communication and (health literacy) numeracy
  • To explain risk and benefit (numeracy) of health information from an individual’s perspective
  • To be able to clearly and easily communicate numbers
  • To recognize that numeracy is a necessary skill of health literacy and is a key component of shared-decision making when managing one’s health


Class Length: 
90 minutes
Course Owner(s):
Jarrod Irwin, MA, Consumer Health Coordinator
Michelle Burda, MLS, Education and Health Literacy Coordinator
Jarrod Irwin, MA, Consumer Health Coordinator
Nancy Shin, Research and Data Coordinator
Continuing Education:

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 1.5 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association. Certificates will be available upon completion of class assignments, including course evaluation.

MLA Course Listing

This class is eligible for Consumer Health Information Specialization continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Upcoming Classes

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