Verbal descriptions of intervention effects can be misleading. An intervention effect (a change in outcomes) is a numerical concept, but it is difficult for some people to understand quantitative information about the effects of treatments.
Qualitative (verbal) labels may be easier to understand and can be helpful. However, qualitative descriptions of effects mean different things to different people, for example, saying that an intervention will ‘slightly reduce’, ‘reduce’, or ‘greatly reduce’ the likelihood of an undesirable outcome. In addition, verbal descriptions of treatments can be manipulative; e.g. promising ‘amazing results’ or describing treatments as ‘natural’, implying that they are safe because of that.
A verbal description of an intervention effect can be helpful, but it should be considered together with quantitative information about the size of the effect.
BEWARE of manipulative use of language in descriptions of interventions.
REMEMBER to look for quantitative information supporting verbal descriptions.