Knowledge Integration Seminar

Unveiling the effects of medications using numbers and visualizations

Do you find yourself lost in translation when trying to make sense of health statistics presented by health care professionals? Do you find yourself wondering if the benefits of a drug really outweigh the potential harms?  Perhaps, you would like to know ways in which visualizations may be used to best communicate drug effects?

Geared toward those with no formal statistical training, this talk will appeal to those who wish to better understand how to use numbers and visualizations to communicate potential benefits and harms about medications. This talk will review why statistical literacy is critical for patients to understand both how to use and to understand the effects of medications. A case-based approach will be used to illustrate ways in which health statistics may be communicated in both transparent and non-transparent ways. Research findings from the primary literature will be integrated into the cases in order to provide an evidence-based approach to communicating health statistics to patients and the healthcare team. Key health statistics such as relative risk reduction, absolute risk reduction, and number needed to treat will be reviewed.  More importantly, the differences between relative and absolute measures of risk will be illustrated using conceptual and real examples rather than mathematical formulas. Finally, the potential for visualization to improve communication beyond the numbers will be explored.

By the end of this seminar, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify transparent and non-transparent ways to communicate health statistics and why transparently communicating health statistics is important for patient care.
  2. Describe and understand the strengths and weaknesses of summary measures used to express treatment benefit and risk.
  3. Explain how visualizations and the visual characteristics of shapes may enhance cognition to better communicate drug effects.

JM GambleDr. JM Gamble is currently a clinical associate professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. His research team conducts epidemiologic studies in the space of drug safety and effectiveness primarily through knowledge syntheses and observational drug studies. His other research interests include knowledge translation of drug information, quantitative benefit-risk analysis, evidence-based monitoring of medications, and pharmaceutical policy evaluation. Dr. Gamble is a previous recipient of the George A Burbidge award recognizing the highest mark on the Canadian Pharmacy Licencing examinations. He held a CIHR New Investigator award and Diabetes Canada Clinician Scientist award from 2012 to 2018, and in 2017 he was named the Primary Healthcare Researcher of the Year at Memorial University. Dr. Gamble continues to practice part-time as a pharmacist at a primary care diabetes clinic in Kitchener, Ontario.

Friday, November 8, 2019
1-2:30pm
Environment 2 (EV2), room 2002

Knowledge Integration seminar series Fall 2019