Community Risk Scale

Reproduced from Department of Health. Communicating about risks to public health: pointers to good practice. 1-1-1997. Crown Copyright.

The Community Risk Scale above shows varying risk magnitudes (see Calman 1997). It may be perceived easily since it uses natural anchor of the typical size of human communities for comparison. The use of the comparable natural anchor on the risk scale allows like-to-like comparison to be made, and thus better facilitates comparison and judgment. The last column (examples) may or may not be helpful in this context. The Community Risk Scale can be adopted in benefit-risk assessment of medicine by placing the benefit and risk criteria for the different drugs in the last column, and the treatment options on the 'ladder'.Previous research has demonstrated that logarithmic scales, as in figure above, have introduced difficulties to users (see Dolan 2012), and therefore users need to know or be guided on how to interpret logarithmic scale.