How to read articles about healthcare
This article 'How to read health news behind the headlines', by Dr Alicia White, explains how to assess health claims in the media.Key Concepts addressed:
- 1-7 Beware of conflicting interests
- 2-1 Comparisons are needed to identify treatment effects
- 2-15 Fair comparisons with few people or outcome events can be misleading
- 3-1 Do the outcomes measured matter to you?
- 3-2 Are you very different from the people studied?
- 3-3 Are the treatments practical in your setting?
This article ‘How to read health news behind the Headlines’, by Dr Alicia White, explains how to assess health claims in the media.
The most important rule to remember is: don’t automatically believe the headline. It is there to draw you into buying the paper and reading the story. Would you read an article called: “Coffee pretty unlikely to cause cancer, but you never know”? Probably not. You need to analyse the article to see what it says about the research it is reporting on.