In order to be able to make informed choices, it is important that patients have transparent information about the pros and cons of treatment. When using the number unnecessarily treated (NUT) as information for patients, we should take the following into account. First, patients should understand that non-effective treatment may still do harm. This might be in contradiction with their ideas about the effects of treatment. Second, as many patients have difficulties understanding numbers and probabilities, the usefulness of NUT may be limited. Third, it is very important to use the proper presentation format to make the information intuitively meaningful for patients. A natural frequency tree and not a population diagram appears to be the optimal format for this purpose. When giving patient information the premise is that the form of the message is more important than the numbers.
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|