46 words can’t do justice to a story that claims that a scanning technique "can be as effective in finding cancers as the more invasive, regular colonoscopy." A conclusion like that could have sweeping implications for health care, for health policy, for health economics – and demands more background.
ABC News could have at least referred viewers to its website for more information, but they didn’t.
We urge ABC to reconsider why it even devotes 15 seconds to such an incomplete story.
There is no discussion of the cost of virtual colonoscopy.
Viewers are given no sense of the comparative benefits of the two screening approaches.
It would seem that a discussion of potential harms would be important in comparing the two approaches to colon cancer screening, but this story didn’t include any such discussion.
In 46 words, it is difficult to cover anything, much less the quality of the evidence. The journal article upon which the story is based included the important caveat: " A major limitation of our study was the lack of randomization. Thus, a potential exists for selection bias affecting the composition of the study population for each program, leading to different prevalences of advanced adenomas."
The story didn’t give any background on colon cancer, so this criterion is not applicable.
No source is cited.
No detail was given about the comparison of virtual colonoscopy with traditional colonoscopy – only the line that the former "can be as effective in finding cancers as the more invasive, regular colonoscopy." A conclusion like that could have sweeping implications for health care, for health policy, for health economics – and demands more background.
Viewers are given no idea of the availability of virtual colonoscopy.
The brief story seems to assume that all viewers know what "virtual colonoscopy" is and whether it’s new, old, experimental or in widespread use. We think this is a faulty assumption.
It’s impossible to know what the story relied on – it only used 46 words.