March 22, 2018 | Story Review

Like so many news stories before it, Newsweek article makes male birth control pill sound imminent

The story never points out that this recent study doesn’t prove the pill will work as intended–that is, prevent pregnancy.

3 Star


March 21, 2018 | Story Review

Is an unfinished pilot study of 8 patients really newsworthy?

It isn’t really clear yet how the treatment works, how long it works for, how often it may need to be done, nor what its side effects are in the short-term and long-term.

3 Star

A Surgery-Free Fix for Bad Knees?

March 19, 2018 | Story Review

How strong is the evidence behind FDA’s proposal to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes? Reuters story doesn’t say

Because of its impact on the health of Americans, any intervention that aims to reduce smoking is worthy of news coverage.

3 Star

FDA takes fresh step towards curbing U.S. nicotine addiction

March 19, 2018 | News Release Review

Preliminary study on mammography for women 40-49 adds confusion, not clarity

It’s not possible to assess the merits of a study with unpublished data.

1 Star

Screening mammography for women 40-49 detects more cancers compared with older age groups

March 16, 2018 | Story Review

Blood pressure pill shows promise compared to ‘usual care,’ HealthDay says, never explaining what that is

Adding contextual information and independent expert viewpoints goes a long way.

1 Star

Three-in-One Pill Shows Promise in Beating High Blood Pressure

March 16, 2018 | Story Review

In rehash of news release, ABC News glosses over realities of experimental menopause drug

News stories shouldn’t stir up excitement about therapies that haven’t been proven both safe and effective.

2 Star

Menopause 'hot flash' medicine could cut symptom by three quarters, trial shows

March 15, 2018 | News Release Review

Can bone density scans help assess cardiovascular risk? More details needed in news release

This news release contains almost none of the important bits of information needed to make an informed decision about this test.

2 Star

Researchers find bone density scans can also help identify cardiovascular disease

March 14, 2018 | Story Review

A pat on the back to CNN for its well-written story on barbershops and blood pressure

The story is strong and scores well because it discusses critical data from the study, offers comments from independent sources and provides information on limitations.

5 Star

How barbershops could help lower blood pressure


Tips for Understanding Studies

View More


Story Reviews

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

Read More

News Release Reviews

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

Read More


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

Read More