[August 31, 2016] Boston Children's Hospital -- Overall, an excellent news release on the acetaminophen versus ibuprofen study published in the NEJM.
[August 31, 2016] University Hospitals Case Medical Center -- This news release needed more quantitative data for the acetaminophen versus ibuprofen study published in the NEJM.
[August 3, 2016] Life Extension -- Trial sponsor is up-front about sponsorship and uses measured language in its news release.
[June 15, 2016] Loyola University Health System -- More information on the possible harms from surgery for mesothelioma would have made this release summarizing a study more complete.
[May 12, 2016] Wolters Kluwer Health -- This news release does a good job on describing some of the key elements found in a study of surgery for chronic headaches but leaves other questions unanswered.
[March 18, 2016] Los Angeles Times -- Is going cold turkey better than gradually cutting back on cigarettes? The LA Times does a good job explaining a new study examining this question, but the story lacked comments from an independent source–or even one of the researchers.
[January 22, 2016] CBSNews.com -- CBS covers a lot of ground in this short report on water coolers in schools but missed some key details.
[December 15, 2015] FDA -- FDA describes the novel cooling cap it approved for the reduction of hair loss in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy.
[December 4, 2015] The Washington Post -- A large retrospective study suggests surgery could help stage 4 breast cancer patients survive longer. The Post evaluates this claim thoroughly.
- Massage therapy association misrepresents studies; false claims of benefit for preventing winter colds and flu
[November 10, 2015] American Massage Therapy Association -- Three dated studies were named in this news release touting a stronger immune system through massage therapy but the sweeping, general language wasn’t backed by evidence. Nor did the studies cited relate to seasonal colds and flu. Consequently, the reader may gain an erroneous notion of the benefits of massage therapy and its effects on the immune system.
[October 16, 2015] Concordia University -- We found a lot of room for improvement in this university news release, starting with a headline that overstates the evidence.
- A test that identifies women with breast cancer who can “skip chemo”? AP thoroughly analyzes the claim
[September 30, 2015] Associated Press -- This Associated Press story does a pretty thorough job addressing our criteria — especially under a tight deadline.
[September 16, 2015] Georgetown University Medical Center -- Overall, this was a solid news release for a recent phase II trial studying resveratrol and an example for other institutions announcing findings from preliminary studies.
[September 1, 2015] Reuters -- This looked to be a breaking news story that might be targeted at investors. But it will certainly also reach consumers, including patients and family members of those with spinal cord injuries. It’s important for the sake of such readers to provide details and context about the study being reported on.
[July 29, 2015] The Washington Post -- This Washington Post article based on a news release is a bit skimpy on the details – no mention of costs, side effects or study limitations. It also hypes the benefits of a drug combination that weren’t studied here and whose effectiveness is unknown.
[July 8, 2015] Newsweek -- This story is about a promising new technology that may one day replace animal studies for the testing of new therapeutics. It’s a reasonable exploration of the topic, but needed an independent voice to weigh in with more critical analysis.
[July 1, 2015] CBS News -- With sweeping, unsupported statements about the benefits of 3-D colonoscopies, this report reads more like a news release from a device company rather than an objective piece of health journalism.
- Brain MRIs as a tool to prevent Alzheimer’s? Too much hype, and too little evidence, from a radiology society news release
[June 11, 2015] American Society of Neuroradiology -- This report strikes out on many levels and does many things that we think news releases shouldn’t do.
[June 2, 2015] Bloomberg Business -- This Bloomberg story starts off promising, but it missed the mark on several points, particularly when addressing costs, harms, and quality of evidence.
[May 20, 2015] European Society of Cardiology -- We’ve called out the BMJ and The Lancet for incomplete news releases describing observational studies in recent weeks. Now it’s the European Society of Cardiology’s turn for the same treatment.
[May 14, 2015] The Wall Street Journal -- A thorough Wall Street Journal report on a new study that explores the relationship between active medical intervention and survival — a topic considered to be controversial among pediatric experts.
[May 4, 2015] Fox News -- Despite its 4-star score, this story failed to provide any critical analysis of the suspect claims made by the manufacturer of this baldness remedy.
[April 9, 2015] US News & World Report -- This story embraces a study’s finding that “women aren’t getting enough” omega-3s during pregnancy. We thought the story could have provided more context with that message.
[March 24, 2015] USA Today -- This USA Today story is easy-to-read and has many consumer-friendly details, but it missed the mark on a few important points.
[March 18, 2015] Associated Press -- The strongest part of this AP story was the quantification of worrisome side effects in patients who took these experimental drugs. But the article fell short in other areas, failing to go into detail about costs and giving an exaggerated estimate of benefits. We’d give a slight edge to competing coverage from The New York Times.
[March 18, 2015] The New York Times -- This New York Times story did a thorough job explaining the benefits and shortcomings of a series of trials looking into a class of cholesterol drugs. We especially liked how the piece addressed limitations and costs. More informative than the Associated Press coverage of the same studies.
[March 11, 2015] NPR -- The family-centered or “gentle” cesarean is an interesting concept and newsworthy for its innovation. This engaging NPR piece conveys much of what readers would want to know, but leans a bit too heavily on the opinions of advocates for our liking.
[March 3, 2015] HealthDay -- This story describes a small, ongoing study that touted lidocaine delivered to the back of the nasal cavity as an effective treatment for migraines. Although the story notes that the findings are preliminary, it does not inform us that the study wasn’t randomized or placebo-controlled; these are major drawbacks in interpreting the effectiveness of the procedure.
[February 18, 2015] USA Today -- A new study has cast doubt on the proposed benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Using the results as a jumping off point, this story skeptically assesses the evidence and explores concerns about the alcohol/heart health hypothesis.
[January 21, 2015] The Philadelphia Inquirer -- This insightful piece explores the cost-benefit tradeoffs of Mohs surgery — a procedure that involves excising cancerous skin tumors and immediately examining them with a microscope to confirm that the entire tumor is removed. But it’s a bit one-sided: the story does not address the harms and limitations of the procedure. And the cost issues raised by the story are not as thoroughly explored as we’d have liked.