Photo: Esther Dyson via Flickr
To effectively report on medical research, you should understand how big a difference that an intervention or an exposure makes.
Absolute risk can be the best for this, but many studies report other comparisons as well. Sometimes a study reports this effect size — the magnitude of difference between two groups — in terms that literally are Greek to me: Continue reading
A panel of experts in geriatric care has identified nearly 100 medications that should be avoided or used with caution among the older population in the latest update to the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults.
The recommendations by the American Geriatrics Society are widely used by clinicians, educators, researchers, health care administrators and regulators to ensure medications are appropriately prescribed. Continue reading
Bloomberg Health reporter John Tozzi has written a terrific “how I did it” essay summing up a yearlong project on Chronicling America’s Uninsured that really delved deeply into who can’t afford health insurance – or chooses not to pay the high cost – and what they experience.
It’s a powerful combination of policy and narrative in a way we don’t often hear. And he showed that health care and insurance isn’t just beyond reach of the poor or working class. It’s a crisis for growing numbers of people much further up the income ladder. Continue reading
At the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting last fall, I attended a talk by Kevin Powell, M.D., Ph.D., called “Evidence-Based Medicine in a World of Post-Truth and Alternative Facts.”
Despite the title’s allusions, however, the talk did not discuss problems in communicating science or medical findings in today’s media ecosystem. Rather, Powell argued that many of the problems we see in today’s problematic reporting and “fake news” have long existed in medical research — but there are ways to address those problems. Continue reading
Photo: CDCAedes aegypti
The news media, for the most part, played a helpful role in communicating the known health risks of the Zika virus to the public during the 2015-16 outbreak, in comparison to the Ebola outbreak two years earlier, according to a set of studies that were published in a special December 2018 issue of the journal “Risk Analysis.”
The group of studies, titled “Communicating Zika,” looked at how the understanding of Zika developed, how Zika risks were translated to the media and how the media’s coverage shaped public perceptions of the virus. Continue reading
Photo: DFID-UK Department for International Development via Wikimedia
During an infectious disease outbreak, how does a journalist provide accurate information about risks to the public as the event is unfolding?
Explain what is known and unknown at the time about the threat, and put the risk in context to risks that people assume daily, suggests Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Continue reading