numerical formatting, health literacy, subjective numeracy, percent, natural frequency
We propose a relationship between sensory modality, numerical formatting, and performance on a survey simulating healthcare decision-making. We examine the current literature on aural health literacy, and specifically aural literacy coupled with health numeracy. We then create a survey instrument called the Bhala test for this purpose and demonstrate that it is moderately internally consistent and provides results that correlate with the NUMi assessment, a widely accepted measure of health numeracy. The quantitative information provided in the Bhala test has two treatments, percentage and natural frequency formats, in an effort to determine which format is easier for subjects to use in decision-making. The Bhala test is administered to a convenience sample of Mechanical Turk workers in a randomized comparative structure. The results do not support the hypothesis that numerical formatting affects subjects’ ability to make healthcare decisions. By comparing these results to previous studies on numerical formatting, we provide evidence to support the notion that sensory modality is an essential component of numeracy, and that aural numeracy should be considered separately from print numeracy.
Root, Robert G., and Sonia Bhala. "Effects of Quantitative Literacy on Healthcare Decision-Making: An Aural Context." Numeracy 13, Iss. 1 (2020): Article 3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5038/1936-46126.96.36.199
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