Tuesday, October 25, 2016: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Bayshore Ballroom Salon D, Lobby Level (Westin Bayshore Vancouver)

Background: An increasingly important topic in health communication is how to present uncertainty to patients and the public. Scientific uncertainty exists in nearly all treatments, tests and technologies, and understanding and evaluating uncertainty can be a critical element for making informed, value based decisions. However, research suggests patients often struggle to understand uncertain information, and use it appropriately in decision making.

About the session: This session would invite organizations that have developed materials or campaigns where communicating meaningful risk information to patients has an important role. Each organization would have the opportunity to: a) present their material and if relevant describe how well it has worked, and b) pose a question around the way uncertain information was developed that they would like feedback on. The questions would be answered by a panel of experts who would be tasked with providing unique insights into how the organization could think about changing this in the future. Examples of questions might be: “how do we best describe very small risks?”, “how to we portray information where evidence is conflicting?”, “how do we deal with the feedback that people dislike uncertainty?”.


Paul K. J. Han, MD, MA, MPH
Center for Outcomes Research, Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation

Dr. Han is the Director of CORE, a behavioral and health services researcher, and a board-certified general internist and palliative care physician. He received an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine, and an M.A. in Bioethics and an M.P.H. from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed Internal Medicine residency training at UCLA, and a fellowship in cancer prevention and control at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Hanís research program focuses on understanding and improving the communication and management of uncertainty in health care, and his work bridges the disciplines of health services and behavioral research. His specific research projects focus on risk communication, shared decision making, and predictive modeling, and examine various clinical problems in cancer care, genomic medicine, and palliative and end-of-life care. His clinical activity is in palliative medicine, and he is an attending physician at the Hospice of Southern Maine. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the Maine LungCAPS Initiative, a statewide lung cancer prevention and screening program primarily funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the Maine Cancer Foundation. Dr. Han is actively involved in initiatives to promote shared decision making and to teach risk communication skills to medical students and physicians. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Medical Decision Making, and the External Advisory Board of the NCI Cancer Research Network.

Michael W. Kattan, PhD
Cleveland Clinic
Quantitative Health Sciences

Valerie F. Reyna, PhD
Cornell University
Human Development & Psychology

Valerie Reyna is Professor and Director of the Human Neuroscience Institute at Cornell University. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, Society of Experimental Psychologists, and President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. Her research integrates brain and behavioral approaches to understand and improve judgment, decision making, and memory across the lifespan. Her recent work has focused on the neuroscience of risky decision-making and its implications for health and well-being, especially in adolescents; applications of artificial intelligence to understanding cancer genetics; and medical and legal decision making (e.g., jury awards, medication decisions, and adolescent crime).