Back CAS Seminar: Health risk communication and decision making

CAS Seminar: Health risk communication and decision making

Join our next CAS seminar with  RISC Amsterdam research group's members that will take place on the 24th of April from 11 to 12:30 in room 52.701 (UPF - Poblenou) and online. 


Imatge inicial

The RISC Amsterdam expert center is a research group based at the Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute (Amsterdam University Medical Centers) that performs interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research on health risk communication and decision-making. Risk communication is a challenge, and as a research topic and practice it is essential since it helps people understand the health risks they face, fosters informed decisions, and encourages people to prevent or minimize these risks.

In this session, we will meet members of the RISC Amsterdam research group and learn first-hand about their projects examining how to effectively communicate information about health risks to support informed and shared decision making. Their insights and expertise in this area will be invaluable for anyone interested in improving health communication and promoting better health outcomes.


Introducing RISC Amsterdam: Research group about risk communication and decision making by Prof. Dr. Danielle Timmermans, Professor Public Health Risk Communication

Prof. Dr. Danielle Timmermans will introduce RISC Amsterdam research group, their projects and research lines.

Risk communication for Shared Decision Making with patients by Dr. Olga Damman, Assistant Professor Risk communication for Shared Decision Making

Dr. Olga Damman’s research program focuses on risk communication for Shared Decision Making. In today’s clinical decision-making, there is an ever increasing amount of numerical evidence available, e.g., RCT-derived evidence, prognostic model predictions, Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). However, such numbers need be translated to be meaningful for Shared Decision Making (SDM). This risk communication in SDM is challenging, especially when patients face emotional distress or have lower numeracy. Olga will talk about some theoretical and empirical principles used in her work into these topics. She will also present some example research projects.

Risk visualization in the context of breast cancer screening and treatment by Drs. Inge van Strien-Knippenberg, Junior Researcher & PhD Candidate: 

In this presentation, I will talk about two related research projects in which we have visualized risk information to support decision-making. Algorithms are increasingly used in healthcare, for example, in prognostic models to estimate survival rates and in population screening to use risk-stratification. This raises the question how we can communicate these results with patients/citizens. In two research projects we have developed prototypes of information including risk visualizations, based on mental model interviews and participatory design sessions. Subsequently, we tested these prototypes for comprehension in experiments. I will discuss the methods used and answer questions such as to what extent has visualizing the risk information contributed to a better understanding of the health-related information? And to what extent did people with lower health literacy and/or lower numeracy benefit from visualizing this health-related risk information?



Prof dr. Daniëlle Timmermans, professor Public Health Risk Communication, Department Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, Amsterdam UMC.  

Her research focuses on how to inform and communicate with the public about health and safety risks in order to foster informed and deliberate decision-making and encourage people to prevent or minimize these risks. Topics are, e.g., infectious diseases and vaccination, but also cancer screening, prenatal screening, and environmental risks (e.g. zoonoses from intensive livestock farming). She is the former Chief Science Officer Risk Communication of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, former president of the European Association for Decision Making, and member of several national and international committees about topics related to the public perception of health and safety risks and implications for policy, e.g. cancer screening, COVID-19, environmental risks. 

Dr. Olga Damman, assistant professor Risk communication for Shared Decision Making at the Department Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, Amsterdam UMC.

Her research program pursues innovation in risk communication to support Informed and Shared Decision-Making (SDM) of all people. One of her key research themes is risk presentation/visualization in patient decision aids. In recent studies, she has shown how to present and visualize information effectively for specific risk communication goals (e.g., breast cancer risk, cardiovascular disease risk, COVID-19 infection risk), often in co-creation with lay audiences. Another series of studies showed how audio-visual information –rather than visualizations per se- contributed to more optimal use of numerical evidence by patients. Olga uses interdisciplinary methods at the intersection of health services research, psychology and Human-centred design (HCD). She is a board member of the Amsterdam Public Health research institute’s Quality of Care program council and working groups on SDM and ‘Patient as Partner’ and also a steering group member of Amsterdam’s UMC Health Literacy Education Committee. She has several international collaborations in the field of risk communication and on a national level she works with researchers in SDM and outcomes-oriented care. Valorisation of scientific findings to society is key to her work, in collaboration with private parties she has translated scientific findings into improved tools used in practice.

Drs. Inge van Strien-Knippenberg has almost finished her PhD at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute.

Her research focuses on supporting lay people’s decision-making by visualizing risk information. She focuses on both information provision in the context of Shared-Decision Making for breast cancer patients who have to make a choice between different treatment options, as well as information provision in the context of Informed Decision-Making in breast cancer population screening. Her research focuses on people with lower health literacy, numeracy, and/or graph literacy skills and uses quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g., participatory design sessions).



This activity is free of charge but requires prior registration, which you can formalize through this link:



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