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Good reminders for how to read health news

Good reminders for how to read health news

Picture of Michael Sholinbeck

I just read a pretty good article in PubMed Health ("Information on conditions and treatments from the world's largest medical library. Find out what works."). It's called, How to read health news. Pretty basic stuff, true, but for the health news reading public, also pretty good.

Questions to ask include:

  • Does the article support its claims with scientific research?
  • Is the article based on a conference abstract?
  • Was the research in humans?
  • How many people did the research study include?
  • Did the study have a control group?
  • Did the study actually assess what’s in the headline?
  • Who paid for and conducted the study?

PubMed Health has a nice section called "Behind the Headlines: Fact or Fiction? Your guide to the science behind health stories in the news," as well as review articles, and information on clinical effectiveness research. Recommended!

Image by Jaysin Trevino via Flickr

Comments

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I love PubMed! It has a wealth of information and it is easily accessible..The only thing I wish it had was access to full-text articles. Often the abstracts are way too short or even non-existent. Of course the journals would lose money if PubMed gave out full-text articles, but a girl can wish, can't she?

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