August 4, 2015 | News Release Review

Society news release provides one-sided view of new device for back pain

This news release focused exclusively on benefits and advantages of the new device that was tested — the HF10 — but doesn’t mention drawbacks. There’s also a suggestion that patients only have 2 other options besides this device–surgery or narcotics–which is misleading.

2 Star

New Therapy Delivers Long-Term Relief for Chronic Back, Leg Pain, Study Finds

August 3, 2015 | Story Review

Solid reporting, but broader ethical/medical questions not addressed

This was a reasonably thorough report on a temporary implantable weight loss balloon procedure.  But the intervention raises all sorts of questions about the role of a temporary device, with limited benefits and known harms, for a non-medically necessary procedure.  And the story didn’t address that broader picture. Maybe a followup is in order.

4 Star

How Well Does the Newly Approved Weight-Loss 'Balloon' Work? Expert notes it will probably only be effective for short-term weight loss

July 31, 2015 | News Release Review

After false start, release on new approach to Parkinson’s treatment recovers quickly, provides context

Headline skimmers will be misled by this release’s initial claim. But clarification comes quickly and with additional useful details.

3 Star

Low-dose lithium reduces side effects from most common treatment for Parkinson's disease

July 29, 2015 | Story Review 1

Story’s “one-two punch” for breast cancer could leave some women knocked out by side effects

This Washington Post article based on a news release is a bit skimpy on the details – no mention of costs, side effects, or study limitations. It also hypes the benefits of a drug combination that weren’t studied here and whose effectiveness is unknown.


3 Star

One-two punch of two generics for breast cancer may be more powerful than wonder drug tamoxifen


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Story Reviews

Our team of reviewers applies 10 standardized criteria to news stories that include claims about health care interventions. ~2,000 reviews published.

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News Release Reviews

We systematically evaluate the quality of health care-related news releases by journals, medical centers, drug/device makers, others.

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Wide-ranging exploration of issues in journalism, journal publishing, health care PR, advertising and marketing. Some opinions - publisher Gary Schwitzer's & others'.

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