Evaluating Stories in the News
This site is a service of the National Institute on Aging. It will help you cut through all the fear-mongering in the media and understand whether or not you should be concerned about a new "study" and what all the "statistics" really mean. (For instance, one of the examples given is of a drug that causes a "300% or three-fold increase in strokes". That is certainly frightening ... until you realize that it really means there are only six more strokes."). A very helpful and informative article.
Even though this is a more light-hearted, easy-to-read approach to the problem, this consumer's guide produced by the Harvard School of Public Health's Center for Risk Analysis does cover all the important points. The 10 Questions & Reasons for Asking explains what to look for when evaluating a news story and why.
This site is funded by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, but is an independent organization. The website reviews current health news items according to set criteria, determining if the reporting was satisfactory or unsatisfactory in meeting that particular critieria, and then gives the article a grade. The detail will help consumers understand what to look for when evaluating health news.
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This database offers news for the past 3 months from both Reuters Health and Health Day. It's searchable by date or topic. You can also sign up to receive daily updates by email. The Reuters site offers Health eLine for the consumer, as well as news geared for the professional and industry. Health Day allows you to search by keyword, category, or topic and offers a "News Roundup" of health highlights for the day.
Find the mobile version here.
Sign up to receive updates that are delivered to your email address on any news story. For instance, you could sign up for H1N1 (Swine) Flu news, autism updates, or any topic you'd like. You can select several delivery options, including how often you want to receive updates (once a day, once a week, or as it's reported), and how many you want to receive at one time. You can change your selections or discontinue the service at any time.
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Disclaimer: The information contained at this website is not intended to replace the care of a primary care physician, specialist, or other professional health care provider. It is intended solely to complement that care and is for general informational purposes only. Any health information found on the Internet should always be discussed with your health care provider.
This page is maintained by the library staff of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, a member of the Health Information Library Network of Northeastern Pennsylvania (HILNNEP).
Last updated: May 20, 2013