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July 20, 2018 | Story Review

It’s way too soon to know if melanoma blood test will save ‘thousands of lives’

Early on the CNN story makes a bold claim that the test could save thousands of lives, yet in many cases, early detection of cancer does not guarantee a longer, healthier life.

4 Star

Experimental blood test could detect melanoma skin cancer early, study finds

July 20, 2018 | News Release Review

University teases sweet solution to older adults’ memory problems

The news release doesn’t provide any data. Nor does it mention how memory, performance, motivation, or mood were measured.

0 Star

Sugar improves memory in over-60s, helping them work smarter

July 19, 2018 | Story Review

All anecdote, no data: NPR’s take on high blood pressure and dementia

The story may mislead people into thinking that if they pop a pressure pill each day, they will avoid Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s unproven.

3 Star

Worried About Dementia? You Might Want to Check Your Blood Pressure

July 17, 2018 | News Release Review

Claims that torn meniscus can be regenerated based on single case study wither under scrutiny

The release asserts that stem cells are a promising approach to regenerating a torn meniscus, but the data are very limited.

1 Star

Stem Cells Shows Promise For Repairing Torn Meniscus

July 16, 2018 | Story Review

A 50% reduction in suicide risk? NPR story overstates the benefits of ‘Safety Planning Intervention’

News stories must be careful to explain study limitations so that people come away understanding what a study couldn’t measure.

3 Star

A Simple Emergency Room Intervention Can Help Cut Suicide Risk

July 16, 2018 | News Release Review

Recap of robotic surgery study shows useful comparison with standard surgery, but sidesteps cost

While robotic surgery may be “not inferior” to standard therapy for bladder cancer, it does have added costs and a longer procedure time.

4 Star

Robotic surgery as effective as open surgery for bladder cancer

July 12, 2018 | Story Review

Genetic testing to guide antidepressant choices: Big news coverage, but limited evidence

The evidence cited here is still very preliminary, a finding we also noticed in another recently reviewed article on using genetic testing for targeting depression meds.

3 Star

Which antidepressant is right for you? This genetic test could help

July 11, 2018 | News Release Review

Announcement tempts people suffering disabling hand condition with ‘new hope’ based on study of surrogate markers

Changes in surrogate markers don’t necessarily translate to better health outcomes affecting patient pain and quality of life.

1 Star

New hope for patients with incurable and disabling hand condition, Dupuytren's disease

Toolkit

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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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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