May 6, 2016 | Story Review

Online program to prevent depression: Solid effort by NPR, though a key limitation was overlooked

This story includes a clear explanation of the study design and the quantified benefits of an online intervention to prevent depression, but it overlooked an important limitation to the study.

3 Star

An Online Program May Help Prevent Depression In Some People

May 5, 2016 | Story Review

LA Times story mischaracterizes studies on intestinal microbiome

This news story’s call to “drink up” for your “microbiome” mischaracterizes the major scientific contributions of two studies on gut flora.

3 Star

Wine and coffee lovers, drink up! It's great for your microbiome

May 5, 2016 | Story Review

Personal anecdotes overwhelm cautionary details in WSJ story on ayahuasca, a Peruvian hallucinogenic concoction

At least one personal account of the harms would have brought the story into better balance.

4 Star

Is Peru’s Psychedelic Potion a Cure or a Curse?

May 3, 2016 | Story Review

With no discussion on limits of animal research, Newsweek story adds to hype on gene therapy

This well-written story is a captivating read, but needed evidence-based details on the challenges facing researchers in moving gene therapy out of mice studies and into actual interventions.

3 Star

GENE THERAPY MIGHT BE THE BEST, AND PERHAPS ONLY, CHANCE AT CURING BRAIN DISEASES

April 29, 2016 | Story Review

Strong on sources, weak on data: CBS story on using marijuana for painkiller addictions

The story relies heavily on anecdotes, and while these personal stories are weighed against the perspectives of outside researchers, with much research being cited, we are never given needed details on what that research contains.

3 Star

Could marijuana help treat painkiller and heroin addiction?

April 28, 2016 | Story Review

Medical Daily story on Mediterranean diet study mostly echoes news release

Lacking independent sources and a robust discussion of the study’s limitations, this story was thin on any information not already provided in the news release.

3 Star

Mediterranean Diet Protects Heart Disease Sufferers From Heart Attack, Stroke

April 27, 2016 | Story Review

ABC joins bandwagon, puts rosy spin on stem cell therapy, this time for muscular dystrophy

This story fails to counter rosy statements by a physician and a patient with realistic assessments of the potential benefits and pitfalls of an unproven procedure for a fatal disease with no known cure.

2 Star

Teen Feels 'Hopeful' After Experimental Stem Cell Procedure on Damaged Heart

April 26, 2016 | Story Review

Reuters Health story wisely notes limitations of NEJM study on treating mini-strokes

For a study as confusing as this one from the New England Journal of Medicine, this brief story does a good job of describing it, as well as some its limitations.

3 Star

Aggressive 'mini-stroke' therapy may cut serious stroke risk by half

Toolkit

Tips for Understanding Studies

View More

Toolkit