Document Detail

Data display format and hospital ward reports: effects of different presentations on data interpretation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22434208     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
BACKGROUND: Graphs are often used in medical communication, both in clinical practice and health management. They can help the processing of quantitative information but may also contribute to drawing wrong conclusions. The aim of the survey is to study the graphical perception of the data at the management level and its possible effects, showing how some criteria of appraisal of a phenomenon are influenced by the graphical format. METHODS: One hundred and five medical doctors and health direction professionals of hospitals in Naples, Rome, Siena and Turin were interviewed. Four different graphs or table related to the same hypothetical data on average hospital stay in the period January 2000 to September 2003 were shown to participants, and their impressions were recorded. RESULTS: Less than one-fourth of the participants understood that the data set was the same for the different diagrams. The process of understanding is mostly correlated with being a director, having a degree in medicine and working in central-northern cities. The table seems easier for interpretation (98.1%), more suitable (84.8%), more used (92.4%) and more pleasant than other data presentation. On the other hand radar format had worse results in all questions. CONCLUSIONS: The choice of a graphical format may influence the understanding of data. Further research is needed in order to sustain the improvement of medical and health professionals' knowledge in the display data format.
Alessandro Agostinelli; Maria Lucia Specchia; Giorgio Liguori; Antonino Parlato; Roberta Siliquini; Nicola Nante; Domitilla Di Thiene; Walter Ricciardi; Antonio Boccia; Giuseppe La Torre
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of public health     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1464-360X     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9204966     Medline TA:  Eur J Public Health     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
1 Institute of Hygiene - Catholic University of the sacred Heart, L.go S. Vito 1, Rome, Italy.
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