Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Risk illiteracy rides again

Let’s work together

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 17 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3030
  1. Karla Hemming, statistician1
  1. 1University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. k.hemming{at}

Shuster argues that we need better tests, not better statistics.1 Unfortunately medical science has not delivered these near perfect tests. We would all love tests like these, but they simply don’t exist. Heath reveals the statistical illiteracy of doctors asked how they would communicate a positive screening result for breast cancer to …

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