To back up our goal of improving the public dialogue about health care interventions, we offer these tips for analyzing studies and health care claims and interventions, aimed at helping both journalists and consumers.
We also offer writing tips for health care journalists that touch upon some of these issues.
- Absolute vs. relative risk
- Animal & lab studies
- Biohype bibliography
- Be careful with composite endpoints/outcomes
- Phases of drug trials
- Medical devices
- FDA approval not guaranteed
- Is the claim legit or just health fear-mongering?
- How much will it cost?
- Intention-to-treat analysis
- NNT: number needed to treat
- Non-inferiority trials
- Observational studies: association vs causation
- Odds ratios
- “Off-label” drug use and marketing
- News from scientific meetings
- Mixed messages about statistical significance
- Surrogate markers may not tell the whole story