Show Summary Details
Page of

Narratives in decision aids: A controversy 

Narratives in decision aids: A controversy
Narratives in decision aids: A controversy

Victoria A. Shaffer

, and Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 July 2021

This chapter maintains that while narratives should be used carefully in health communication, arguments in favour of their use outweigh concerns. The use of narratives in patient decision aids is controversial because of their persuasive power, ability to bias medical decisions, and tendency to proliferate the spread of misinformation. However, this chapter argues that: 1) didactic and statistical information alone are not enough to combat major public health issues; 2) narratives are also an important way that people make sense of data; and 3) narratives provide important contextual information that is essential for decision making. This chapter provides a blueprint for how narratives should be used in public health communications and discusses which narratives would be most efficacious. Finally, this chapter makes the case for a new, integrative model that respects the complementary roles of both data and narrative communications in the design of health communications.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.