Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

5 resolutions for reading and writing about health care in 2018 [Via HealthNewsReview.org]

From my “go to” place on how to evaluate health news stories

As the season of New Year’s resolutions rolls around, it’s inevitable: Health and fitness stories will dominate our news feeds in the next few days and weeks. To help both writers and readers of healthcare information, we’ve put together a few resolutions that are handy now–and any time of year:

Read–and heed–our 10 newly refurbished criteria for health news reporting and news release writing. If a news story or news release meets most or all of our criteria, you can have a greater degree of confidence that the information is accurate, balanced and complete. While the criteria are most relevant for new treatments, procedures or medical devices, they also apply to diet trends and fitness fads that are popular news topics this time of year.

Be careful with screening advice. Some surprisingly common recommendations in health care stories aren’t actually supported by high-quality evidence. For example, this NBC News story lists an annual physical as a top resolution. However, evidence-basehhd guidelines say that if you’re healthy with no symptoms, such physicals are unlikely to help you stay well and live longer. And they can lead to additional tests and treatments that may do more harm than good. This is also true for many cancer screening tests. One important reality: Cancer screenings are often unequivocally framed as important because “early detection saves lives” — messaging that minimizes the potential harms that people need to know about.

 

More at https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/01/4-resolutions-for-reading-and-writing-about-healthcare-in-2018/

 

January 6, 2018 - Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , ,

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