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Odette Wegwarth

© MPI for Human Development
Researcher
+49 30 82406-695
wegwarth [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de
143

Short CV: 

Scientific project leader (WP 4) of the European project "FORECEE“, European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

  • 2015 – Habilitation (associate professor) and Venia legendi in Medical Sociology and Sciences of Rehabilitation, Charité teaching hospital (Berlin)
  • 2007 – Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.) in psychology, Humboldt University (Berlin)
  • 2003 – Diploma (Dipl.-Psych.) in psychology, Potsdam University 
Research Interests: 
  • Medical risk literacy in doctors and patients
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Fast-and-frugal decision support tools
  • Defensive decision making in medicine
  • Conflict of interests in medicine

Selected Literature: 
  • Wegwarth, O. (2015). Cancer survival rates: The CONCORD-2 study. The Lancet, 386(9992), 429. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61442-8.
  • Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2013). Overdiagnosis and overtreatment: Evaluation of what physicians tell patients about screening harms. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173, 2086-2087. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10363.
  • Gigerenzer, G. & Wegwarth, O. (2013). Five year survival rates can mislead. British Medical Journal, 2013;346:f548.
  • Wegwarth, O., Schwartz, L. M., Woloshin, S., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2012). Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the United States. Annals of Internal Medicine, 156, 340-349, W-92-W-94.
  • Wegwarth, O., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Deceiving numbers: Survival rates and their impact on doctors' risk communication. Medical Decision Making, 31, 386-394. doi:10.1177/0272989X10391469
  • Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). "There is nothing to worry about": Gynecologists' counseling on mammography. Patient Education and Counseling, 84, 251-256. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2010.07.025
  • Gigerenzer, G., Wegwarth, O., & Feufel, M. (2010). Misleading communication of risk. British Medical Journal, 341, 791-92.
  • Wegwarth, O., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2009). Smart strategies for doctors and doctors in training: Heuristics in Medicine. Medical Education, 43(8), 721-28.

   (exhaustive publication list; see below)

open all Curriculum Vitae

zuklappen Honors & Awards

  • Appointed Expert by the German Chancellery for the 3rd Forum of Germany "What matter to people - Global health and innovation" (2017)
  • Dr. Lothar Beyer Award of the German Society of General and Family Medicine (DEGAM) (2016)
  • Early Investigator Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine (2013)
  • Appointed Expert in the roundtable dialogue "Future technologies: High tech medicine“ initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) (2012/2013)
  • International Collaboration Grant, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYC (2010)
  • Visiting Fellow, Clinical Epidemiology Interdisciplinary Research Group, Cardiff University (2009)
  • Ph.D. stipend, Epigenomics AG/Inc., Berlin/Seattle (2003 - 2006)

zuklappen Publications

Journal Publications

Mühlbauer, V., Prinz, R., Mühlhauser, I., & Wegwarth, O. (2018). Alternative package leaflets improve people's understanding of drug side effects - A randomized controlled exploratory survey. PLoS ONE, 13(9):e0203800. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0203800
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Wegwarth, O. (2018). Brustkrebsfrüherkennung - Nutzen und Risiken richtig kommunizieren. Der Gynäkologe, 51, 370-379. doi:10.1007/s00129-018-4199-3
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Widschwendter, M., Jones, A., Evans, I., Reisel, D., Dillner, J., Sundström, K., Steyerberg, E. W., Vergouwe, Y., Wegwarth, O., Rebitschek, F., Siebert, U., Sroczynski, G., de Beaufort, I. D., Bolt, I., Cibula, D., Zikan, M., Bjørge, L., Colombo, N., Harbeck, N., Dudbridge, F., Tasse, A.-M., Knoppers, B. M., Joly, Y., Teschendorff, A. E., Pashayan, N., & on behalf of the FORECEE (4C) Consortium (2018). Epigenome-based cancer risk prediction: Rationale, opportunities and challenges. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, 15, 292-309. doi:10.1038/nrclinonc.2018.30
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Donner-Banzhoff, N., Seidel, J., Sikeler, A. M., Bösner, S., Vogelmeier, M., Westram, A., Feufel, M., Gaissmaier, W., Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2017). The phenomenology of the diagnostic process: A primary-care based survey. Medical Decision Making, 37, 27-34. doi:10.1177/0272989X16653401
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Wegwarth, O., Wagner, G. G., & Gigerenzer, G. (2017). Can facts trump unconditional trust? Evidence-based information halves the influence of physicians' non-evidence-based cancer screening recommendations. PLoS ONE, 12(8):e0183024. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0183024
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McDowell, M., Rebitschek, F. G., Gigerenzer, G., & Wegwarth, O. (2016). A simple tool for communicating the benefits and harms of health interventions: A guide for creating a fact box. MDM Policy & Practice, 1:2381468316665365. doi:10.1177/2381468316665365
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Prinz, R., Feufel, M. A., Gigerenzer, G., & Wegwarth, O. (2015). What counselors tell low-risk clients about HIV test performance. Current HIV Research, 13, 369-380. doi:10.2174/1570162X13666150511125200

Wegwarth, O. (2015). Cancer survival rates: The CONCORD-2 study. The Lancet, 386(9992), 429. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61442-8
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Wegwarth, O. (2015). Medizinische Risikokommunikation: Nutzen und Schaden transparent kommunizieren. Forum: Das offizielle Magazin der Deutschen Krebsgesellschaft e.V., 30, 208-213. doi:10.1007/s12312-015-1303-7
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Wegwarth, O. (2014). Transparent risk communication in cancer screening: Reveal when it's good and when it's not. Oncology Research and Treatment, 37(Suppl. 3), 6-7. doi:10.1159/000367912
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2014). Improving evidence-based practices through health literacy - in reply. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174, 1413-1414. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.846
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Wegwarth, O., Kurzenhäuser-Carstens, S., & Gigerenzer, G. (2014). Overcoming the knowledge-behavior gap: The effect of evidence-based HPV vaccination leaflets on understanding, intention, and actual vaccination decision. Vaccine, 32, 1388-1393. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.12.038
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Wegwarth, O., & Prinz, R. (2014). Risikokommunikation: Medizinische Risiken verstehen und verständlich machen. Zentralblatt fur Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, 64, 320-324. doi:10.1007/s40664-014-0053-1
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Gigerenzer, G., & Wegwarth, O. (2013). Five year survival rates can mislead. BMJ, 346:f548. doi:10.1136/bmj.f548
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Wegwarth, O. (2013). Krebsfrüherkennung und Risikokommunikation. Therapeutische Umschau, 70, 245-250. doi:10.1024/0040-5930/a000396

Wegwarth, O. (2013). Statistical illiteracy in residents: What they do not learn today will hurt their patients tomorrow. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 5, 340-341. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-13-00084.1
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2013). Overdiagnosis and overtreatment: Evaluation of what physicians tell patients about screening harms. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173, 2086-2087. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10363
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Durand, M.-A., Wegwarth, O., Boivin, J., & Elwyn, G. (2012). Design and usability of heuristic-based deliberation tools for women facing amniocentesis. Health Expectations, 15, 32-48. doi:10.1111/j.1369-7625.2010.00651.x
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Gaissmaier, W., Wegwarth, O., Skopec, D., Müller, A.-S., Broschinski, S., & Politi, M. C. (2012). Numbers can be worth a thousand pictures: Individual differences in understanding graphical and numerical representations of health-related information. Health Psychology, 31, 286-296. doi:10.1037/a0024850
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Wegwarth, O. (2012). Wie steht es um Ihr Statistik-Know-how? Fünfjahres-Überlebensrate. UroForum, (4), 30-31.

Wegwarth, O., Schwartz, L. M., Woloshin, S., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2012). Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the United States. Annals of Internal Medicine, 156, 340-349, W-92-W-94.
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Neuner-Jehle, S., Senn, O., Wegwarth, O., Rosemann, T., & Steurer, J. (2011). How do family physicians communicate about cardiovascular risk? Frequencies and determinants of different communication formats. BMC Family Practice, 12:15. doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-15
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Wegwarth, O., Day, R. W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Decisions on pharmacogenomic tests in the USA and Germany. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 17, 228-235. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01426.x
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Wegwarth, O., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Deceiving numbers: Survival rates and their impact on doctors' risk communication. Medical Decision Making, 31, 386-394. doi:10.1177/0272989X10391469
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Nutzen und Risiken richtig verstehen. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 108, A568-A570.
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Risiken und Unsicherheiten richtig verstehen lernen. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 108, A448-A451.
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Sterblichkeitsstatistik als valides Maß. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 108, A760-A762.
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). "There is nothing to worry about": Gynecologists' counseling on mammography. Patient Education and Counseling, 84, 251-256. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2010.07.025
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Unnötige Ängste vermeiden. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 108, A943-A944.
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Gigerenzer, G., Wegwarth, O., & Feufel, M. A. (2010). Misleading communication of risk. BMJ, 341:c4830, 791-792. doi:10.1136/bmj.c4830
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Keller, N., Cokely, E. T., Katsikopoulos, K. V., & Wegwarth, O. (2010). Naturalistic heuristics for decision making. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 4, 256-274. doi:10.1518/155534310X12844000801168
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Wegwarth, O. (2009). Entscheidende Beeinflussung: Das Setzen von Defaults durch Institutionen kann auch im Gesundheitswesen richtungsweisend sein. Care Management, 2, 10-11.

Wegwarth, O., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2009). Smart strategies for doctors and doctors-in-training: Heuristics in medicine. Medical Education, 43, 721-728. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03359.x
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Gigerenzer, G., & Wegwarth, O. (2008). Risikoabschätzung in der Medizin am Beispiel der Krebsfrüherkennung [Medical risk assessment - Using the example of cancer screening]. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, 102, 513-519.
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Neuner-Jehle, S., Wegwarth, O., & Steurer, J. (2008). Sagt ein Bild mehr als tausend Worte? Risikokommunikation in der ärztlichen Praxis. Vor- und Nachteile der unterschiedlichen Methoden [Is one picture worth a thousand words? Risk communication in primary care. Advantages and shortcomings of different methods]. Praxis, 97, 669-676. doi:10.1024/1661-8157.97.12.669

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2008). A preference does not equate with understanding [Commentary on "Patients prefer pictures to numbers to express cardiovascular benefit from treatment" by F. Goodyear-Smith et al., Annals of Family Medicine, 6, 213-217]. Annals of Family Medicine.
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Vom Risiko, Risiken zu kommunizieren [About the risk to communicate risk]. Therapeutische Umschau, 64, 687-692.

Edited Books and Monographs

Wegwarth, O. (2015). Statistical literacy in medicine: Physicians' and patients' understanding of health statistics in cancer screening and prevention. Habilitationsschrift, Medizinische Fakultät Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

Wegwarth, O. (2007). Deciding the fast & frugal way on the application of pharmacodiagnostic tests in cancer care? A comparative study of oncologists', pathologists', and cancer patients' decision making in Germany and the USA. Doctoral dissertation, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.
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Contributions to Handbooks, Encyclopedias, and Edited Books

Wegwarth, O. (2018). "Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt": Nutzen und Schaden von medizinischen Interventionen richtig verstehen und transparent kommunizieren. In F. Hofmann, G. Reschauer, & U. Stößel (Eds.), 31. Freiburger Symposium "Arbeitsmedizin im Gesundheitsdienst": 13.-15. September 2017 (Arbeitsmedizin im Gesundheitsdienst No. 31) (pp. 84-98). Freiburg im Breisgau: edition FFAS.

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2018). The barrier to informed choice in cancer screening: Statistical illiteracy in physicians and patients. In U. Goerling & A. Mehnert A. (Eds.), Psycho-Oncology (Recent Results in Cancer Research No. 210) (2nd ed., pp. 207-221). Cham: Springer.

Rebitschek, F., & Wegwarth, O. (2017). Risikokommunikation beim (epi-)genetischen prädiktiven Testen auf weibliche Krebsarten. In K. M. Einhäupl (Ed.), Medizin 4.0: Zur Zukunft der Medizin in der digitalisierten Welt. IV. Interdisziplinärer Kongress Junge Wissenschaft und Praxis, 1.-2. Juni 2016, im Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus, Berlin (Veröffentlichungen der Hanns Martin Schleyer-Stiftung No. 88) (pp. 117-123). Berlin: Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Stiftung.

Kause, A., Prinz, R., Gaissmaier, W., & Wegwarth, O. (2014). Risikokompetenz von Ärzten und Patienten. In K. Hurrelmann & E. Baumann (Eds.), Handbuch Gesundheitskommunikation (pp. 424-439). Bern: Huber.

Multmeier, J., Gaissmaier, W., & Wegwarth, O. (2014). Collective statistical illiteracy in health. In B. L. Anderson & J. Schulkin (Eds.), Numerical reasoning in judgments and decision making about health (pp. 39-58). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Wegwarth, O. (2014). Risikokommunikation in der Gynäkologie. In J. Bitzer & H.-W. Hoefert (Eds.), Psychologie in der Gynäkologie (pp. 300-311). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.

Miron-Shatz, T., Mühlhauser, I., Bower, B., Diefenbach, M., Goldacre, B., Smith, R. S. W., Spiegelhalter, D., & Wegwarth, O. (2013). Warum medizinische Information oft nicht genutzt wird und was man dagegen tun kann. In G. Gigerenzer & J. A. Muir Gray (Eds.), Bessere Ärzte, bessere Patienten, bessere Medizin: Aufbruch in ein transparentes Gesundheitswesen (Strüngmann Forum Reports) (pp. 193-213). Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft.

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2013). Mangelnde Statistikkompetenz bei Ärzten. In G. Gigerenzer & J. A. Muir Gray (Eds.), Bessere Ärzte, bessere Patienten, bessere Medizin: Aufbruch in ein transparentes Gesundheitswesen (Strüngmann Forum Reports) (pp. 137-151). Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft.

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2013). Trust-your-doctor: A simple heuristic in need of a proper social environment. In R. Hertwig, U. Hoffrage, & the ABC Research Group, Simple heuristics in a social world (pp. 67-102). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Miron-Shatz, T., Mühlhauser, I., Bower, B., Diefenbach, M., Goldacre, B., Smith, R. S. W., Spiegelhalter, D., & Wegwarth, O. (2011). Barriers to health information and building solutions. In G. Gigerenzer & J. A. Muir Gray (Eds.), Better doctors, better patients, better decisions: Envisioning health care 2020 (pp. 191-212). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2011). Statistical illiteracy in doctors. In G. Gigerenzer & J. A. Muir Gray (Eds.), Better doctors, better patients, better decisions: Envisioning health care 2020 (pp. 137-151). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2009). "Zu Risiken und Nebenwirkungen...:" - Wie informiert sind Ärzte und Patienten? ["On risks and side effects...:" How informed are doctors and patients?]. In N. Klusen, A. Fließgarten, & T. Nebling (Eds.), Informiert und selbstbestimmt: Der mündige Bürger als mündiger Patient (pp. 123-138). Baden Baden: Nomos-Verlagsgesellschaft.
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Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2008). Die Bewertung von Risiken in der Medizin [Assessing risks in medicine]. In S. Meier, M. Stellpflug, & A. Tadayon (Eds.), Handbuch Medizinrecht [CD-ROM]. Heidelberg: Hüthig Jehle Rehm.