Search Results for "problematic PR releases"
Problematic PR releases: Medical studies backed by food industry trade groups
Long considered a downmarket cooking oil with ho-hum health benefits, cottonseed oil has now been linked to lowering cholesterol, according to a recent news release from the University of Georgia. As the release explains, “researchers suggested a fatty acid unique to cottonseed oil, dihydrosterculic acid, may help prevent the accumulation of triglycerides, a type of fat, in […]1
Problematic PR releases: As evidence lags on proton therapy, hospitals lure patients with anecdotes and high-tech appeals
A recent news release from Michigan’s Beaumont Medical Center shared the story of an 8-year-old girl with a brain tumor who traveled from Hawaii to be treated at the hospital’s proton therapy center. Its heart-warming details include how the girl bonded with her medical team, gave them candy from her home state, and hopped onto […]
Problematic PR releases: Why you should dig deeper when you see the term “minimally invasive”
Consumers are gung-ho about so-called “minimally invasive” procedures, which typically require smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. Partly, it’s for good reason. Technologies like laparoscopy and arthroscopy — which use tiny cameras and instruments — have reduced complications and sped recovery times for many common operations. But not every treatment or test billed as “minimally […]
Problematic PR releases: Costs are hidden in cancer testing news
Precision medicine and the tests that enable it are becoming increasingly common in cancer care. So it’s no surprise that we see more and more PR announcements relating to cancer testing from a variety of institutions including government, academia, and industry. There’s little debate that some of these tests would benefit patients. But we also […]
Problematic PR releases: more mice, more muddled messages
In our continuing series on problematic public relations news releases, we add another entry to our category on claims made about animal studies. The reason we’re continuing to hammer away on this issue is that, as you’ll see in these examples, many news releases deliver misleading messages that can easily be misinterpreted by readers. We […]
Problematic PR releases: Health claims based on animal studies
Optimism may be a virtue, but not in news releases on animal studies. As we’ve written, what works in mice doesn’t necessarily work in humans. Yet we often see news releases confidently proclaiming that animal studies portend health claims for people. Take these recent examples with rosy outlooks: Soy diets might increase women’s bone strength from […]1
Problematic PR releases: Publicizing phase 1 trials
Last week we introduced our new ongoing series looking at problematic PR releases, surfacing trends in news releases that discuss health care interventions. We found, for example, that news releases sometimes fail to include the most basic data findings from the research they’re promoting, leaving it to journalists to sift through (often paywalled) studies to […]4 7/30/2018
Problematic PR releases: Where’s the data?
We’ve been closely tracking healthcare-related news releases for several years now, systematically reviewing more than 550 using our 10 criteria. We can’t get to every news release we see–the churn is vast. That’s why we’re starting a new ongoing blog series, problematic PR releases, looking at some of the big-picture problems we see in news […]
Strong caveats are lacking as news stories trumpet preliminary COVID-19 research
For years medical researchers held off while scientists in other fields embraced online platforms for posting rough drafts of manuscripts, known as preprints. Those websites accelerate basic science by allowing researchers to disseminate findings and get feedback on their work before submitting them to a traditional journal. Some argue that such rapid data sharing is […]
5 quick PR tricks to cover up a lack of real health care news
As all researchers know, science is a grinding parade of failure and dead ends. But as we’ve often written, news release writers sometimes seem hell-bent on making the public believe otherwise. Like expert makeup artists, they can add sparkle to lackluster findings, mask blemishes in study designs, and smooth over unimpressive data. One thing I […]
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.
Johns Hopkins team identifies promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease
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.
Cedars-Sinai Surgeon Uses New Device to Perform First-Ever Surgery
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.
Vitamin C May Reduce Harm to Infants’ Lungs Caused by Smoking During Pregnancy
Claims about pulsed radiofrequency for back pain and sciatica are premature
News release lacks clarity on benefits, harms, costs, and availability of the procedure.
Pulsed radiofrequency relieves acute back pain and sciatica
Ending our offer of free pre-publication review of PR news releases
We are bewildered. We don’t know what more we can do. There’s never been a service like ours that reviews the news and critiques it to try to improve the public dialogue about health care in the U.S. There’s never been a service that reviews the quality of health care PR news releases. And […]