Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on HealthNewsReview.org 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.
12/13/2018

The Little Prince makes an informed health decision

I read a lot of health news, as part of my daily search of eligible news stories for our team to review. So much so that I notice health claims in all kinds of unusual places. Even in fiction. My book club recently read “The Little Prince,” the classic story written by French pilot Antoine de […]

12/12/2018

Headline vs. study: Predicting, preventing and other clickbait

Predicting and preventing. These are powerful words that hold strong appeal for most of us, especially when it comes to our health. But the reality is this: There are very few diseases that can be predicted and prevented. Try to name just one and you’ll see that it’s rarely, if ever, possible. And yet we […]

12/11/2018

5 categories of quality web content for you to explore when we cease daily publication

Many of you have asked by email or on Twitter, “Where do we turn for help after you go away?” First, we’re not disappearing on January 1, 2019, and the site won’t go dark.  I’ll keep it alive for at least three years. And I hope to add new content periodically by hiring freelancers or writing […]

12/6/2018

We have everything to fear, including fear itself

In 1997 Frank Furedi — an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent — wrote a critically acclaimed book entitled, “How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the 21st Century.” In that book he tells the story of the public reaction to a magazine cover portraying a little girl fishing with her father. […]

12/5/2018

Holy grail cancer test? Hold on. Here’s what you need to know

Australian researchers at the University of Queensland reported that “a quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis.” A news release quoted one of the researchers: “We certainly don’t know yet whether it’s the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics.” He also […]

1 12/5/2018

Year-ender 2018: Here’s how we can clean up the polluted stream of health care news

If there’s one thing our project has demonstrated unequivocally during its 12-plus-year run, it’s that many media messages about health care interventions are incomplete, imbalanced, and inaccurate – some of them egregiously so. But how do we restore balance and improve the information reaching the public? That’s a question that can’t be answered without understanding […]

12/4/2018

Podcast: The top 10 quotes of 2018

Our 50th podcast takes a look back at some memorable conversations from the past year.

There’s quite a mix of insights here on everything from what it means to ‘cure’ Alzheimer’s and ‘survive’ cancer, to ‘science-ploitation’ and cutting through the hype surrounding precision medicine and the microbiome.

11/30/2018

5-Star Friday: Assumptions

Many of the medical truths we hold to be self-evident are actually assumptions. Our 5-Star selections this week are good examples. Many of us assume medical devices are rigorously tested before going to market. That bed rest keeps premature labor at bay. Or, that electronic medical records (EMRs) will make health care delivery more streamlined […]

11/28/2018

A veteran science communicator’s guidelines for PR news releases on medical research

  Earlier this week, HealthNewsReview publisher Gary Schwitzer wrote that the free news release review program he had offered was shutting down.  You could almost hear the disappointment in his explanation that barely more than a half-dozen institutions took advantage of this offer in the past 20 months it was available. “What more we can […]

2 11/27/2018

Is social media hurting science … and people?

Is social media a friend or foe of science? An opinion piece published in JAMA last week suggests the latter: Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and ‘Fake News‘ The authors argue social media poses a threat to science in several ways: Unfettered publication of unvetted information by sources […]

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Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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