Search Results for "Headline vs study"
Don’t start fist-bumping over a study in two people!
The Skeptical Scalpel, the nom de digital of a retired surgeon on a blog and Twitter, writes this week: Some well-intentioned researchers from West Virginia University published a small study claiming that substituting a fist bump for a handshake might reduce the transmission of bacteria. Since many illnesses can be transmitted by contaminated hands, the […]13
Observational studies: Does the language fit the evidence? Association vs. causation
by Mark Zweig, MD, and Emily DeVoto, PhD, two people who have thought a lot about how reporters cover medical research back to “Tips for Understanding Studies” A health writer’s first attempt at expressing results from a new observational study read, “Frequent fish consumption was associated with a 50% reduction in the relative risk of […]7/28/2009
Headlines give different views of important prostate study
There’s a very important study published in the July 27 Journal of Clinical Oncology. But iif you read different news stories – or at least their headlines – you’d never know they were all about the same study. Perhaps the most clear story – and headline – came from Reuters Health. Headline: Many prostate cancers […]
For breakfast, give me 2 observational studies and an anti-irritant
This is the way many of my days begin. I check for messages – across all media – and I see this on Twitter from Adam Cifu, MD, one of our former editorial contributors: I think this article was published just to irritate @VPrasadMDMPH and @garyschwitzer https://t.co/KWVqMEk3K8 — Adam Cifu (@adamcifu) June 30, 2020 Once […]
Same old, same old, with NY Times Well column – bisphosphonates for pneumonia this time
While the overarching theme may be the same – the puzzling editorial decision-making in the New York Times Well blog/column – the specific topics change – and so, provide more examples for instruction. Bone Drugs May Have Added Benefit: Lower Pneumonia Risk is the headline of the latest troubled piece that caught my eye. The opening line: […]
The President and the pandemic: two months of dithering, deceit and distortion
On January 22, 2020, President Donald Trump told the American public: “We have it totally under control.” No, we didn’t. We don’t. And no one can say how or when we will. I have compiled a roundup of Trump’s distortions, evasions, and lies on the coronavirus outbreak as documented by more than 20 diligent news organizations in news […]
Fact-checking – by itself – is inherently flawed on health care topics
Fact-checking has become one of the buzziest buzzwords in journalism. There are more than 100 fact-checking projects around the world. It’s been trotted out to counter alleged “fake” news. And to monitor the accuracy of political leaders who stretch the boundaries of believability. April 2 has been proclaimed International Fact-Checking Day. Indeed, genuine fact-checking may play an important […]
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
How some journalists got hooked by fish oil and vitamin D spin
Results of a much-anticipated trial on fish oil and vitamin D generated conflicting headlines last weekend. Some stories declared good news about the popular supplements: Reuters wrote that fish oil “can dramatically reduce the odds of a heart attack while vitamin D’s benefits seem to come from lowering the risk of death from cancer.” The […]
CNN overstates evidence linking neck pulse measurements to increased dementia risk
The story didn’t tell readers this was an observational study–cause-and-effect couldn’t be established.
Five-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years earlier, say scientists
‘Historic breakthrough Alzheimer patients around the globe have been awaiting’
Over the years, I have loved it when health care journalists send us tips. One recently wrote, “Have you all seen this BS? Some uneducated/informed friends are posting this on Facebook.” The BS she was referring to was our headline above, which appeared in the first sentence of a news story by WV News: The Independent […]
Early birds have lower breast cancer risk? What you need to know
Wake me when it’s over. There was a lot of misleading information in news stories this week about a study of sleep traits and risk of breast cancer. It was a complex study to decipher, but instead we got simplistic headlines like this one from HealthDay: “Early Birds May Have Lower Breast Cancer Risk.” That […]
A step-by-step guide to creating health care clickbait
Effective clickbait doesn’t just happen. It’s carefully crafted. Take this wildly misleading article from CNN: Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals. It’s one example — among many generated daily by various news outlets — of how a mundane observational study can be transformed into viral internet gold. […]
STAT’s cheerleading coverage of prescription fish oil capsule lacks crucial context
This piece reads like an advertisement for a new prescription formulation of fish oil. Our reviewers describe what’s missing.
Amarin fish oil capsule shows dramatic benefit for cardiovascular patients, potentially upending market
Your kitchen could hurt you, save you, or make your children overweight
The health section of Newsweek kicked off the week letting readers know there are apparently foods in your kitchen that can cut your risk of dying by 18%, and cleansers under your sink that could make your kids overweight “by messing up their gut bacteria.” Here are the headlines — keeping in mind they are […]