The story met many of our criteria. Room for improvement: a discussion of cost and interviews with sources not affiliated with the trial.
Alerting the reader to study limitations is just as important as reporting the results. In this case, a quote from the lead researcher tells us much of what we need to know: “I do not think we can say that our study proves that acupuncture is effective for depression during pregnancy.”
No mention of the cost of acupuncture, which is relevant, especially since acupuncture is not always covered by insurance
The story only reported benefits in percentages in each group that "responded to therapy," but later the story provided the actual numbers of women assigned to the three study groups – so it’s possible for readers to do the math. Nonetheless, why make them do the math? Why not just give the absolute numbers of how many in each group responded?
Story did a nice job describing the study methods, including the acupuncture regimen. Additionally, the story alerts the reader upfront that this is a small study and the results are not guaranteed.
This story included data indicating that 3-5% of pregnant women are diagnosed with depression.
No independent experts were quoted in this story.
The story didn’t address whether any acupuncture therapists are trained in the "depression-specific" acunpuncture methods that were used in one arm of this study.
The story described the use of acupuncture for treating patients with chronic pain, but it did not mention previous studies that evaluated its use in depression.