Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on comes to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.
December 17, 2018 | News Release Review

‘Millions’ with bipolar disorder could be helped by probiotics? Release pushes pure speculation

While probiotics have been a popular focus of research in recent years, the claim that they could help millions with bipolar disease is unwarranted.

1 Star

Probiotics could help millions of patients suffering from bipolar disorder

December 14, 2018 | News Release Review

Summary of dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet study leaves us hungry for details

The release claims the diet “significantly improved blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function” but doesn’t provide any numbers to allow readers to gauge the size of improvement.

1 Star

Yes Please to Yogurt and Cheese: The New Improved Mediterranean Diet

December 13, 2018 | News Release Review

Johns Hopkins prematurely heralds a ‘promising diagnostic tool’ for Alzheimer’s

This news release did a good job of explaining how the study was done but didn’t provide data on benefits, costs, or harms.

3 Star

Johns Hopkins team identifies promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease

December 13, 2018 | Story Review

Hard to find the journalism in this brief Reuters story on clinical trial results for psoriasis drug

The story mostly just rehashes a drug company news release.

2 Star

J&J says its psoriasis drug superior to Novartis' in study

December 10, 2018 | News Release Review

Very little news in this news release on device approved for aneurysm treatment

All missing from this news release: benefits, harms, how it compares to other methods to treat aneurysms, cost, and if it’s available beyond one hospital.

1 Star

Cedars-Sinai Surgeon Uses New Device to Perform First-Ever Surgery

December 10, 2018 | Story Review

A little more context would have boosted already-strong HealthDay story on drug for hot flashes

Did the study findings really earn a label of “game-changing?”

5 Star

Incontinence Drug May Cut Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors

December 7, 2018 | News Release Review

Is vitamin C a remedy for smoking during pregnancy? Too soon to tell based on preliminary study

The news release suggests results from lung tests in infants can predict future lung health. But the research can’t yet tell us that vitamin c use in pregnancy will result in any changes in lung health later on.

2 Star

Vitamin C May Reduce Harm to Infants’ Lungs Caused by Smoking During Pregnancy

December 6, 2018 | Story Review

Props to NPR for highlighting the need for balanced decision-making around statins

This story could have provided a bit more on costs, alternatives, and how this study was performed.

4 Star

Before Starting A Statin, Talk It Over With Your Doctor


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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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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