Posted by Gary Schwitzer in Health care journalism
Every two weeks, the Wall Street Journal publishes a terrific column by Jeremy Singer-Vine. Each column gives a brief synopsis of a recent research story and then gives readers caveats about or limitations in the study itself.
It’s exactly the kind of breakdown that more journalists should do every day when they cover medical research news.
He commonly cautions readers about not drawing conclusions because of:
• lack of long-term data
• small study size
• drop out rates in the trial should be taken into account
• research done in animals not humans
• research that was observational, not a true experiment
• research that can only point to statistical association, not causation
• confounding factors that may explain what was seen in the study
• results may not be generalizable to other populations
• result may not be generalizable to other similar products
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