Do you wrestle with ways to illustrate numbers when writing about vaccines?
Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, a family physician in Spokane, Wash., recently offered some ways to do this effectively in a blog post called Vaccine Data: Do the Math.
LaSalle skillfully highlights two examples of how numbers can be used. In one example, related to flu figures, she suggests how real-life context can make the risks of the flu more obvious. In another example, related to measles data, she underscores how numbers can be used to mislead. Continue reading
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has made changes to the way they present their recommendations in hopes of making them more user-friendly for physicians. The result also is clearer and easier to follow for journalists and consumers too.
The changes, outlined in the September issue of JAMA, include better use plain language, making the recommendations more easily scannable and emphasizing top-line recommendations without repetitive or marginally relevant information. You still can get the nitty-gritty details of a recommendation and supporting evidence from the site, but for those needing a quick summary, it’s now easier to find what you need. Continue reading
Photo: Let Ideas Compete via Flickr Wearing medical masks to help prevent disease is common throughout China and the rest of Asia.
The novel coronavirus from China that had infected at least 634 people as of early today has led some media to report about the potential of a pandemic.
Reporters localizing the story for their audiences should be able to answer these questions: When does an infectious disease outbreak become a pandemic, and is it likely with this virus? How worried should Americans be? Continue reading
Photo: UTHealthUTHealth’s Shuo-Hsiu (James) Chang, PT, Ph.D., center, and CCNY’s Hao Su, Ph.D., are testing a mobility device for seniors.
A new line of wearable robotics could keep seniors on their feet a lot longer.
Think of it as a lightweight version of the armor that comic book hero Tony Stark dons as Iron Man when he fights villains. What we’re talking about are exoskeletons.
A prototype developed at City University of New York (CCNY) and tested at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) fared well in a pilot study of people with walking difficulties. Continue reading
Neglected tropical diseases, a group of parasitic, bacterial and viral infectious diseases that primarily affect the poorest countries in the world, also can spread in some of the most impoverished communities in the United States.
Vice News reporter Arielle Duhaime-Ross brought attention to this little known fact in “Scientists think Alabama’s sewage problem has caused a tropical parasite. The state has done little about it,” which won the National Association of Science Writers’ 2019 Science in Society Journalism Award. Continue reading
Source: “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement,” Milliman, November 2019.In a recent report on the level of parity between care for patients with mental health versus physical health conditions, actuaries from Milliman reported which states (shown in white and light blue) have the highest rates of parity and which states have the lowest rates (darker and deep blue). One of the strengths of the report is that it has data on parity for each state.
A recent report indicates that health insurers are failing to comply with mental health parity laws for people with employer-sponsored health coverage and their families.
In the report, “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement,” actuaries from the consulting firm Milliman document wide disparities in access to behavioral health care services for employees, family members and retirees with health insurance through an employer.
The report shows that disparities between physical and behavioral health care for both in-network access and provider reimbursement rates are making it harder for Americans to find affordable and available mental health care and addiction treatment. Continue reading