Monday, May 22, 2017

In the News: Health Issues

Environmental and Science Ecucation
Edward Hessler

Do you ever wonder what to make of the daily press and news reports on health and medical "breakthroughs" and headspining headlines with their way too often gushy recommendations and overwrought concerns? My immediate reaction is suspicion but I don't always have the time or take the time to investigate to find out what was really said in the research or press releases (which have their own problems).

Prostate cancer screening—the famous PSA—comes immediately to mind but it is only one from a very long list of reports and press releases.  Just exactly was the recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in the most recent statement on PSA screening? Was it a reversal of the 2012 against broad-based PSA screening or...?

Or what about the recently widely reported link between diet soda, stroke and dementia?

I recommend a resource I both trust, rely on and admire for understanding reports on drugs and devices, vitamins and nutritional health, diagnostic and screening tests, dietary recommendations, surgical procedures, psychotherapy and mental health interventions.

HealthNewsReview is edited by a crackerjack health reporter, Gary Schwitzer who is an adjunct associate professor in the UM School of Public Health which houses the website. Reports are reviewed using several well-explained criteria and then given a star-rating for accuracy.  How the star-rating is developed is explained.

I include a full description of the ten review criteria here.

And here are three pieces from HNR on prostate cancer screening, the relationship suggested between diet soda, stroke and dementia and the health effects of coffee.

Regular HCN contributor, Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria just recently wrote a review of Choosing Wisely's efforts to reduce unnecessary medical care. Susan Perry wrote a celebratory piece about Choosing Wisely for MinnPost.

The HCN site is rich, useful and worth checking-out.

No comments:

Post a Comment