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Tell a Story to Translate Complex Medical Findings for Patients

Source: Penn Medicine News Release, November 8, 2011 In the November 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMAsubscription required) Jason Karlawish and colleague Zachary Meisel propose that physicians use narrative stories to convey new research findings to patients. Citing widely-disseminated celebrity narratives opposing the MMR vaccine and new guidelines about prostate screening, Karlawish and Meisel suggest that developing counternarratives in support of the prevailing scientific evidence would help to spread the correct message and align with how people process information. They note, “Stories are an essential part of how individuals understand and use evidence.”

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