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:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , ... Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize ... providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab ... services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill ... Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together ... equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was ... of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... -- Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation announce ... home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with trauma-related ... organization focused on disruptive health solutions for rare disorders ... to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and contextual ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... HORSHAM, Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 ... received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food ... (BLA) seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of ... response letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to ... of moderately to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare of ... Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , have ... service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider access ... 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... used to measure lung function for a variety of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: