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Do audiences understand health stories?

Health journalists understand some of the key elements audiences need to better understand health stories, but they also misunderstand the impact statistical information has on audience comprehension, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

Speaking at the Association of Health Care Journalists' annual conference, assistant professor Amanda Hinnant, Ph.D., said the results of a survey she and colleagues conducted showed that health journalists realize audiences will be more likely to understand health stories that include a human element, use graphics to illustrate important information and employ a conversational tone.

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