Testing the Effect of Press Guides on Health Journalists
The news media has a powerful influence on public perceptions about health and health care;
and much of what people -- including many physicians -- know and believe about medicine
comes from the print and broadcast media. Several studies, however, have raised questions
about how well the press covers medical issues, pointing out errors and omissions in
coverage and misleading presentations of statistics. The goal is to help train journalists
to better understand and cover medical research, and to help improve communication between
journalists and medical journals.
Journalists traditionally write newspaper articles about medical research using information
from press releases and the medical journal article's abstract or full text. The objective
is to test whether the addition of a 'press guide' (a one-page summary of the study
findings) in addition to these other materials improves comprehension of facts about the
study article and the overall judgment of the newsworthiness of the study.
Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Comprehension of facts about the study article (covering study design, exposures, outcome measures, results, limitations, conflicts of interest) assessed using a brief test.
0 weeks (assessed during intervention)
Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, MS
White River Junction VAMC
United States: Federal Government