Institutions Blamed for Exaggerated Research Claims

Share this content:
Institutions Blamed for Exaggerated Research Claims
Institutions Blamed for Exaggerated Research Claims

(HealthDay News) -- Exaggerated news reports about health research often can be traced back to press releases issued by universities, a new British study suggests. Improving the accuracy of these news releases could greatly reduce the amount of misleading health news, according to research published Dec. 10 in The BMJ.

Petroc Sumner, Ph.D., of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed 462 news releases on health-related research issued by 20 leading universities in the United Kingdom in 2011 and compared them to the studies they described and to 668 pieces of national news coverage about the studies.

The researchers found that, compared to the actual studies, 40 percent of the releases contained exaggerated advice, one-third contained exaggerated causal claims, and 36 percent contained exaggerated inferences about how animal research applied to people. If press releases exaggerated the research, it was more likely that news coverage would do the same -- 58 percent for advice, 81 percent for causal claims, and 86 percent for inference to humans. When press releases did not exaggerate, rates of exaggeration in news coverage were 17, 18, and 10 percent, respectively.

The blame "lies mainly with the increasing culture of university competition and self-promotion, interacting with the increasing pressures on journalists to do more with less time," the authors write.

Full Text
Editorial

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!




Already a member?

Sign In Now »

Trending Activities

All Professions

Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

FDA Permits Marketing of Brain Stimulation Device for OCD

FDA Permits Marketing of Brain Stimulation Device for ...

FDA previously approved transcranial magnetic stimulation for major depression, certain migraines

Comments Open on End of NIH Review for Gene Therapy Studies

Comments Open on End of NIH Review for ...

NIH oversight panel no longer plans to review all applications for gene therapy experiments

U.S. Measles Outbreak Hits 107 Cases in 21 States, D.C.

U.S. Measles Outbreak Hits 107 Cases in 21 ...

Outbreak on track to exceed last year's; most of the people who got measles weren't vaccinated

is free, fast, and customized just for you!




Already a member?

Sign In Now »