RR, RRR, ARR, NNT, chance, percentages …… these are common ways of presenting results of studies about therapy or harm.
I have always struggled with how best to re-articulate the above numbers to an intended audience (patients, residents, colleagues … and sometimes myself) such that the magnitude of results can be appropriately conveyed and understood.
During one of those nights trawling online for EBM-teaching resources, I stumbled upon a website with an animation function called "Spinning the Risk". Looks like a potential goldmine!
I decided to try it out after coming across the post "Colchicine for Pericarditis: Do It" by Ryan Radecki, based on a study by Imazio et al.
The goal of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of colchicine, in addition to standard therapy, for treating a first attack of acute pericarditis. The primary outcome was "incessant or recurrent pericarditis" (efficacy) and one of the main adverse effects was "gastrointestinal disturbance" (harm).
In other words, if I am a patient with my first attack of acute pericarditis, tell me:
1. What are my chances of experiencing incessant or recurrent pericarditis with and without colchicine?
2. What are my chances of experiencing gastrointestinal disturbances with and without colchicine?
Instead of quoting the respective percentages from the study, how about showing me this: