National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits. Learning How to Communicate Health Statistics

Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information that contain numbers. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numeracy. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from a layman’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 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:

  • Understand their role in risk communication and health numeracy
  • Understand risk and benefit statistics from a layman’s perspective
  • Understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand
  • Understand that numeracy is a key component of health literacy and shared decision making in managing one’s health
Class Length: 
90 minutes
Course Owner(s):
Michelle Burda, MLS, Education and Health Literacy Coordinator
Michelle Burda, MLS, Education and Health Literacy Coordinator
Ann Glusker, Research & 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

Past Classes

A basic introduction to communicating numerical health information in a way that is clear and easy to understand. This is a very basic class.


This class is a 1.5 hour webinar, with MLA CE credit available. It will be given from 11:30 am-1:00 pm PST on Tuesday August 15.


Upcoming Classes

There are no upcoming classes