This is one of the finest, most complete health care news stories we’ve reviewed in a long time. The fact that its topic was a sensitive, confusing, controversial one adds to our appreciation of the journalism.
This story never clearly explained what information is conveyed by a positive or negative test and how the result might be useful for decision-making in patients with cognitive impairment.
There were many strong elements in this story: cautious language early and often, strong input from independent experts, and concerns stated about off-label use. Nice job.
Thorough job, addressing all of our criteria except for the potential cost implications of such a test.
Crucial information was missing in this story. What were the test results in the people without Alzheimer’s disease? What’s the sensitivity and specificity of the test? Does ABC even know to ask?
So many stories about so many Alzheimer’s tests fall short in explaining why sensitivity and specifity is so important in such test – and why some may choose not to be tested. This story wasn’t bad but we point out areas for improvement.
Despite some cautious caveats, the story leaves readers’ heads spinning: Is this a product that “might boost memory” or is it too “difficult to make a clear cut statement about the value of the product”? The story says both. It also leaves us wondering why people can’t simply eat a diet higher in these compounds.
Today researchers said they have developed a simple blood test that could help identify Alzheimer’s patients years before they have any major symptoms.
A story that read like an ad, appeared to draw big chunks from a company news release, and didn’t give men the whole picture they need to evaluate a new test.
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