This is how you should communicate surgical risk

A study of surgical patients reveals using percentages is more effective than words like 'sometimes'

The way surgeons communicate risk, such as using percentages or phrases like "uncommon", has a direct impact on how patients perceive the risk of a procedure, according to a new US study.

It shows that using percentages, or a range of percentages, is more effective than using qualitative terms such as "uncommon" or "sometimes".

"Surgeons need to recognise that the language they use to communicate impacts people's understanding and downstream can actually impact their decision making," said Dr