NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.
Read Original Story

New lenses offer hope for better sight

Rating

2 Star

New lenses offer hope for better sight

Our Review Summary

For those who struggle with vision problems, a variety of newer types of lenses could help. This story reports on one such type of lens. Unfortunately this story does little to inform the reader of just what this lens can and can’t do.

The story falls short on describing the availability, harms, costs and evidence to support the new lenses. It does not adequately describe the treatment options or quantify the benefits. Although the story does quote two experts, they are not independent. Both are employees of the lens companies. The story should have quoted at least one independent expert who could comment on how the new lenses fit with current practice. This would have substantially strengthened the piece.

In the end, the story read like an ad – not an accurate, balaned and complete piece of journalism.  

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story mentions the cost of the machines, this is not enough information on costs. More important to the consumer is how much more these types of lenses cost over traditional lenses and whether insurance will cover it. This is particularly important to many older people who may have this problem and be living on a fixed income.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not quantify the benefits of the lenses; only personal anecdotes were provided.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention any potential harms of the new lenses.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

Other than describing one patient’s experience, the story does not comment on the strength of the available evidence to support the new lenses.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

Although the story does not appear to exaggerate the seriousness or prevalence of vision problems, the story could have been more clear about the specific types of vision problems that the new lenses address.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story does quote two experts, they are not independent. Both are employees of the lens companies. The story should have quoted at least one independent expert who could comment on how the new lenses fit with current practice. This would have substantially strengthened the piece.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention the alternatives or how this new technology will fit with existing options.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

Because the machines are new and expensive, it’s not clear whether the technology is widely available. It would have been helpful if the reporter could have provided basic facts about where the testing and lens development is available.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the lenses are a new idea.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Not Applicable

There is no way to know if the story relied on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 2 of 9 Satisfactory

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.