The authors assessed whether dentists’ diagnostic inferences differ when test accuracy
information is communicated using natural frequencies versus conditional probabilities. A parallel, randomized controlled trial
with dentists was carried out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The dentists
received a question on the probability of a patient having interproximal caries, given
a positive bite-wing radiograph. This question was asked using information
that was formulated into either natural frequencies or conditional probabilities.
Key Words. Diagnosis; communication barriers; persuasive communication;
health education; risk; probability.