June 26, 2012 – The FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee is meeting Friday, June 29, to discuss recent research on communicating and understanding uncertainty, as well as
risk perception in low-income populations with multiple risks.
According to discussion topics for the meeting issued by the agency, the RCAC would like to get answers to the following questions:
- Is it important to specify the source(s) of uncertainty in a communication?
- Should the FDA specify the type(s) of uncertainty?
- What points should be emphasized on in message development to increase transparency and build trust in FDA’s communication of uncertain information, without overwhelming the audience with detailed caveats?
- Does the material presented at the meeting or other data suggest points for the FDA to consider about what uncertainty information patients or the general public need to know, and conversely, whether there is risk of undermining trust or confidence in FDA communications by providing more uncertainty information?
- Discussions at previous meetings highlighted the point that different people may interpret descriptions like “rare” or “serious” quite differently and that evaluative descriptions can be quite helpful. What points should the FDA bear in mind, to communicate clearly to the varied public, again given that we must provide a message to all?
- What points should help the FDA in developing communications that facilitate the sort of emotional worry and sense of efficacy that would support deeper, more systematic cognitive use of the
information? At the same time, how can the FDA accomplish such communication to inform the members of the public who need it while not causing undue worry for others?
- What types of messages, language or tools can the FDA use to more effectively target minorities, the economically disadvantaged, and the less educated?
The RCAC meeting will be held at FDA’s White Oak Campus (10903 New Hampshire Avenue., Bldg. 31, Conference Center Room 1503, Silver Spring, MD), from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The meeting also can be viewed remotely by logging on to: https://collaboration.fda.gov/rcac/.