Navigation Links
Media health reporting: Accuracy improving but still a way to go

New research on the reporting of medical treatments in the media shows slight improvements in accuracy but the overall quality of health reporting remains poor.

The study of more than 1,200 health news stories published by Australian media outlets is the most comprehensive investigation of the quality of medical news stories. It found that over the past four years there was only small improvement in quality of coverage of the availability of new treatments, the potential harm of interventions and accurate analysis of any benefits.

The report is published in the latest edition of the journal PloS ONE by the Public Library of Science and covers news stories evaluated by the media monitoring website

The report evaluated medical news stories against 10 criteria including: how well the story covered the benefits, harms and costs of a new treatment; whether the journalist consulted an impartial expert in the field; and whether the article relied heavily on a media release, particularly if it came from a commercial source.

Report author, University of Newcastle PhD student Amanda Wilson from the School of Medicine and Public Health, said the most striking finding was the very poor coverage of health news by commercial current affairs programs.

"Sensational coverage of unproven and improbable treatments for health issues like cellulite is regularly featured on these networks," Ms Wilson said. "But it is more serious when they start to promote unlikely remedies for more major health problems like cancer or behavioural problems in children."

The biggest improvement in accurate media coverage of medical stories was in online news services, with a five per cent increase in scores over four years.

"The media plays a very important role in communicating health breakthroughs and influencing public health behaviours," Ms Wilson said.

"While journalists generally aim to provide accurate, unbiased and complete information, they are inundated with sometimes conflicting information from companies, researchers, the government and consumers.

"It is therefore vital that researchers provide balanced and accurate information to journalists and journal editors on published studies that is designed to inform the public."


Contact: Amanda Wilson
Research Australia

Related medicine news :

1. Media Alert: Tips on Skiing Safely From the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
2. Media Advisory: Medco CEO David B. Snow Jr. To Address American Enterprise Institute: Health IT: Empowering Precision Medicine
3. Webcast Alert: Medial Saude SA Announces Fourth Quarter 2008 Results Conference Call Webcast
4. Print Media Under Siege - Are Readers Disappearing?
5. VIDEO From Medialink and the American Heart Association: Better Fats Benefit Heart Health
6. VIDEO from Medialink and Pfizer Ophthalmics: On World Glaucoma Day, Keep an Eye on the Future
7. VIDEO from Medialink and the Society of Interventional Radiology: Prostate and Kidney Cancer - New Life-Changing Developments
8. Santa Monica Media Corporation Files Extension Proxy With SEC to Complete Transaction
9. New Leaf Creative Strategies to Provide Real-Time Media Distribution Services at Natural Products Expo West
10. NBC Digital Health Network Upgrades WEGENER(R) Compel(R) Network Control System and Adds MediaPlan(R) Content Management System
11. AUDIO from Medialink and UnitedHealthcare: Maintaining Your Health Coverage
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to ... between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every ... founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures ... post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, ... for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program ... organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert ... Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the ... App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® for ... aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, few ... and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and Bruxism ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), ... Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled to ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... Palace Hotel in New York ... Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings during ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... Therapeutics, a start-up  biotechnology company focused on the ... and funded by the F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative ... an exclusive collaboration to support the discovery and ... (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD). ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Ohio , Nov. 25, 2015 ... handle hazardous drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, ... and veterinary technicians). The chapter also covers all ... drugs (e.g., pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient ... --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: