Navigation Links
Misleading media coverage of medicine
Date:11/26/2008

Media coverage of clinical trials does not contain the elements readers require to make informed decisions. A comparison of the coverage received by pharmaceutical and herbal remedy trials, reported in the open access journal BMC Medicine, has revealed that it is rarely possible for the lay public to assess the credibility of the described research.

Tania Bubela from the University of Alberta, Canada, led a team of researchers who investigated 201 pharmaceutical and 352 herbal remedy newspaper articles, and studied the 48 pharmaceutical and 57 herbal remedy clinical trials that the stories referred to. For both complementary and mainstream medicine, stories under-reported risk and lacked any disclosure of trial funding or scientists' conflicts of interest. Bubela said, "There were significant errors of omission of basic information such as dose, sample size and methods for randomized clinical trials. In addition, there is an under-reporting of risks, especially in the context of herbal remedies".

The main theme of almost all articles on pharmaceutical clinical trials was the trial itself. This contrasted with articles on herbal remedy clinical trials where 63.6% focused on the trial and the other third focused on other issues such as the myriad uses for any particular herb. The main benefit cited in almost all articles was improved health or treatment options. The study found that the media is overly reliant on narratives from satisfied patients, researchers, clinicians and patient groups - without disclosing these people's financial ties to industry and conflicts of interest.

According to Bubela, "The study is not all bad news for the media. Slowly they are beginning to report on the welcome trend of evidence based clinical trials for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including herbal remedies. Unfortunately, the media still rely for their sources on high quality medical journals, which are more likely to report negative results about CAM and positive results about pharmaceuticals, The clinical trials in the study showed no difference in quality between herbal remedy and pharmaceutical trials, but CAM was still reported on more skeptically".

Healthcare receives significant media attention, and CAM is no exception. Given the continued public interest in the multi-billion dollar business of CAM, this media attention is hardly surprising. The researchers conclude, "Given this well established and expanding market, it is time for journalists and editors to experiment with improving content without necessarily sacrificing narrative themes such as human interest stories. A change for the better is unlikely to result in a reduced public appetite for health news - an appetite which is increasingly sophisticated and desirous of high quality information".


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-707-94804
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Hospital Quality Info on Web Can Be Misleading
2. Full-Service Community Hospitals Blast Misleading Letter to Candidates From Limited-Service Hospitals
3. Workers With No Healthcare Protecting Kaiser Facilities, Security Contractor May Be Misleading Californias Largest Healthcare Provider
4. Hagens Berman Files Class Action Against Bayer Healthcare Over Misleading Marketing Campaign
5. AUDIO from Medialink and Radica: Staying Sharp with Games for Your Brain
6. AUDIO from Medialink and Kelloggs: Whats in Your Water?
7. AUDIO from Medialink and Commit Lozenge: Wanna Quit Smoking With Therapeutic Nicotine? Just Follow the Directions
8. AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Number of Uninsured Americans Grows to 47 Million
9. Justice Department to Hold Media Event to Demonstrate New Database for Matching Unidentified Remains and Missing Persons Information
10. Weiner Public News First Media Team at National Press Club 5K
11. VIDEO from Medialink and General Motors: On and Off the Track
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Doctors on Liens has ... by Dr. Kendell Mendonca , to its growing network of doctors in Central ... injuries stemming from car accidents such as whiplash, back pain, neck pain, hip and ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Carrollton, Ga. (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... industry. To simplify the secure exchange of data across industry solutions, Fogo Data ... in the power of community. A healthy community is one in which all ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... the predictive analytic firm Predixion’s Healthcare IT practice. Predixion, which raised $42M+ to ... backed by giants including Accenture, GE Ventures, and Software AG , will ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... CLICKco LLC, a company dedicated ... are now available for purchase on RonnieColemanNutrition.com, a popular website for health and ... health-conscious consumers who love coffee but are looking to add more protein to ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... , ... Nancy Johnston Toll marks her debut in the publishing ... Bump in the Road ” (published by Xlibris). Inspired from her personal experiences, this ... ups and downs experienced by anyone going through cancer treatment and how one can ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)...  Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX ) (the "Company") ... initiation of a quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders, the ... be payable on April 14, 2017 to shareholders of record ... The board of directors intends for the ... to holders of its common stock, representing a planned annual ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017  /PR Newswire/ -- ... pleased to announce the launch of Modern Retina ... website for retina specialists. Built upon the ... focuses on the latest innovations in the areas ... and practice management. By meeting current informational needs and ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 2017   BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals , a clinical ... innovative immuno-oncology cancer therapies, today announced that the ... Phase 2 trial of BeyondSpring,s innovative lead asset, ... cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with Docetaxel has been ... Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in Orlando, Fla. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: