The subjective numeracy scale as a tool for assessing statistical numeracy in older adult populations

Jonathan Rolison, Stacey Wood, Yaniv Hanoch, Pi-Ju Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Statistical numeracy, necessary for making informed medical decisions, is reduced among older adults who make more decisions about their medical care and treatment than at any other stage of life. Objective numeracy scales are a source of anxiety among patients, heightened among older adults.
OBJECTIVE:
We investigate the subjective numeracy scale as an alternative tool for measuring statistical numeracy with older adult samples.
METHODS:
Numeracy was assessed using objective measures for 526 adults ranging in age from 18 to 93 years, and all participants provided subjective numeracy ratings.
RESULTS:
Subjective numeracy correlated highly with objective measurements among oldest adults (70+ years; r = 0.51, 95% CI 0.32, 0.66), and for younger age groups. Subjective numeracy explained 33.2% of age differences in objective numeracy.
CONCLUSION:
The subjective numeracy scale provides an effective tool for assessing statistical numeracy for broad age ranges and circumvents problems associated with objective numeracy measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalGerontology
Volume59
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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