Its few shortcomings could have been overcome easily with a little more space:
(Also fixing the typo in the final paragraph where colonoscopy was used when they meant colon cancer. We make ’em, too.)
The story’s interview quotes nailed the issue:
The story didn’t discuss costs. And cost is a significant issue here. The AP story, by comparison, reported that “colonoscopy costs vary widely but typically exceed $1,000.”
Adequate. The story said that almost 24% of Medicare enrollees in the study were re-examined within seven years “with no clear indication for the early repeated examination.”
One of the weak points in this story – and in many of the stories we saw on this study, frankly – was that, while harms or complications were mentioned, they were not defined nor quantified. What harms? And how often do they occur? This story had a quote that “I don’t think we’ve educated [people] well enough” about the possible risks – but the story itself didn’t do so.
The AP story, by comparison, at least mentioned “risks that occur more often with older patients, including complications from sedation, accidental performation of the colon and bleeding.”
Adequate job. Nice touch commenting on the geographic variations seen in the Medicare analysis as well.
The focus of this story was the opposite of disease-mongering.
The story used an American Cancer Society spokesman as an independent source.
In the last line, the story at least mentioned other approaches to colon cancer screening.
The availability of colonoscopies is not in question.
The relative novelty of this study was made clear in the story.
It’s clear that the story did not rely solely on a news release.