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BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 09 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3209
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief
  1. The BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}

There can be little that’s more central to a doctor’s role than clearly communicating the benefits and harms of treatments. Yet it’s one of the hardest things to get right, and it seems to be getting harder. Approaches once considered adequate no longer meet the needs of shared decision making or the complexity of the evidence base. At a meeting last week at the Academy of Medical Sciences delegates agreed that doctors, patients, journalists, and the public often struggled to grasp numerical …

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