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. . . AND A PINCH TO GROW ON: Hormone therapy helps short children stand taller

Rating

3 Star

. . . AND A PINCH TO GROW ON: Hormone therapy helps short children stand taller

Our Review Summary

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a condition in which the body does not produce enough growth hormone, causing short stature among other symptoms. GHD can be successfully treated with growth hormone replacement therapy in childhood. Growth hormone injections are notorious for misuse by athletes because of its effects on muscle mass and it is essential that its use be limited to true deficiencies with an identifiable cause.

This story provides a nice tale of a girl who is helped by growth hormone therapy but does not provide much for the reader in the way of meaningful content. It adequately describes the novelty and availability of the treatment, quotes multiple sources and does not rely on a press release as the sole source of information. The story does not exaggerate the prevalence of growth disorders, however the story could have done a better job of describing what distinguishes these disorders from normal short stature.

 The story could have been improved by quantifying the benefits of treatment, describing the evidence to support its use, elaborating on the alternative treatment options, and mentioning the costs of treatment, which are significant. Finally, the story should have described the harms and side effects of treatment, of which there are many.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention the cost of the treatment.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story does not quantify the benefits of growth hormone therapy and relies too heavily on the use of anecdote to describe the benefits.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention any harms of the growth hormone treatment.

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

Not Satisfactory

The story does not comment on the strength of the available evidence to support hormone replacement therapy.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not exaggerate the prevalence of growth disorders. The story could have done a better job of describing what distinguishes these disorders from normal short stature.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not mention any alternative treatments to growth hormone.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

Clearly growth hormone treatment is not a new idea.

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

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple experts, the reader can assume the story did not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 5 of 10 Satisfactory

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