When JAMA Psychiatry published a study about alcohol use disorder prevalence a few weeks ago, the findings predictably led to a flood of stories about an apparently rapidly growing alcoholism public health crisis in the United States.
The study claimed a nearly 50 percent increase in alcohol use disorder prevalence since a decade earlier, a staggering increase by any measure. Continue reading
New research on senior hunger serves as a reminder of the impact that untreated dental disease may have upon overall health.
Researchers examining risk factors for malnutrition among elderly emergency room patients concluded that oral health problems outranked other adversities in contributing to the patients’ nutritional deficiencies. Continue reading
I’m frequently asked on social media for my thoughts on a particular study. In this situation, I thought the quick analysis I did may be instructive for others, so I’ve Storified it here, along with additional commentary and resources. Continue reading
The intersection of scientific research, evidence and expertise can be a dicey one, particularly in an age in which evidence-based medicine is replacing the clinical expertise of practitioners.
In The New York Times Sunday Review, Jamie Holmes wrote about how the challenge of assessing the quality of evidence against expertise and less stringently conducted research can lead readers to confusion and frustration. Continue reading
Perhaps you stumble onto an intriguing study that you haven’t seen covered and want to report on it. Or you receive a press release touting provocative findings that sound pretty astonishing … if they’re true. One potential indication of the paper’s significance and quality is the journal in which it was published.
Publication in a highly regarded journal is not a guarantee in itself that the paper is good – the blog Retraction Watch has hundreds of examples of that. In fact, one of the most famously retracted studies of all time – that of Andrew Wakefield’s attempt to link autism and vaccines in a small cases series – was published in The Lancet, one of the top medical journals in the U.K. (Ironically, that study continues to contribute to The Lancet’s impact factor because it’s the second-most-cited retracted paper as ranked by Retraction Watch.) Continue reading