November 17, 2017 | Story Review

Skimpy, source-free ABC News story on new blood pressure guidelines unlikely to help readers much

Any time medical experts spout the routine lifestyle advice, reporters should press them to explain what is really likely to change for people.

3 Star

More than 103 million Americans will have high blood pressure under new guidelines

November 17, 2017 | News Release Review

Study testing late clot removal in stroke is important but not a “breakthrough” or “paradigm shift”

While the release provides good supporting data, readers should remember that the study was not blinded or placebo controlled which introduces some limitations.

3 Star

Landmark study may impact standard stroke treatment guidelines

November 16, 2017 | Story Review

CNN is clear on the comparative benefits of two drugs for opioid use disorder

But more needed to be said about the potential harms of the treatments–which carry risks–as well as their general availability and cost.

3 Star

Some opioid addiction drugs harder to start than others, study finds

November 16, 2017 | News Release Review

Time to retire the Pap test? Strong study recap explores the trade-offs

More discussion on the potential cost savings would have rounded this release out nicely.

4 Star

HPV testing is better than the Pap test at detecting cervical cancer

November 14, 2017 | Story Review

‘Regular painkillers work as well as opioids for fractures,’ but is this new information?

The story is exceptionally concise — a news brief rather than a feature — but does a good job of describing the study and placing it in the context of the “opioid crisis” in the U.S.

3 Star

Regular painkillers work as well as opioids for sprains, strains and fractures

November 13, 2017 | Story Review

BuzzFeed story on IUDs and cervical cancer warns readers ‘these are observational studies’

Yet it didn’t give enough details on how cervical cancer rates compared among groups.

3 Star

IUDs Are Linked To A Lower Cervical Cancer Risk, Study Finds

November 13, 2017 | News Release Review

‘Breakthrough’ for enlarged prostates? Northwestern’s aggressive PR pitch lacks data and context

Short on details, long on promise for an alleged ‘breakthrough’ minimally invasive surgery for enlarged prostates.

1 Star

Northwestern Medicine offers new Minimally Invasive Breakthrough Treatment for Enlarged Prostate

November 9, 2017 | News Release Review

Opioids and non-opioid analgesics may work equally in the ER, but questions remain

The release does not address cost or potential harms, and does not make clear how this study builds on or differs from previous research.

3 Star

No significant difference in pain relief for opioids vs. non-opioid analgesics for treating arm or leg pain

Toolkit

Tips for Understanding Studies

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Toolkit

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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Blog

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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