Perception of risk information. Similarities and differences between Danish and Polish general practitioners

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Jørgen Nexøe
  • Alicja Malgorzata Oltarzewska
  • Jolanta Sawicka-Powierza
  • Kragstrup, Jakob
  • Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to gain better insight into how general practitioners (GPs) perceive risk reduction and the way this perception may be influenced by healthcare environment.

DESIGN: Questionnaires with clinical episodes were sent to Danish and Polish GPs, who were randomised into four groups, each receiving the same case story with differently phrased information about risk reduction achieved through medical treatment. The GPs were asked whether they would recommend medical treatment, knowing the case story and expected risk reduction.

SUBJECTS: Danish and Polish GPs.

RESULTS: A greater proportion of Polish GPs than Danish GPs would definitely or probably recommend treatment (93% versus 72%; p < 0.001). Both groups of doctors were more inclined to recommend treatment when the achievable benefits were presented in terms of relative risk reduction rather than absolute risk reduction or number needed to treat.

CONCLUSION: Neither information on number needed to treat nor relative risk reduction alone provides doctors with all the information they need to recommend treatment or prevention to their patients. The present study showed that the professional handling of risk information is affected by differences produced by healthcare cultures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)183-7
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

    Research areas

  • Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel/ethnology, Denmark, Female, Health Services Research, Humans, Male, Physicians, Family/psychology, Poland, Practice Patterns, Physicians', Preventive Health Services/statistics & numerical data, Risk Factors, Risk Reduction Behavior, Surveys and Questionnaires, Therapeutics/statistics & numerical data

ID: 324178134