Not very, according to a new, independent analysis by a group that’s been looking at health coverage by major media.
HealthNewsReview.org has reviewed over 500 health and medical news stories, looking at issues like how often they talk about costs, benefits and harms of the drugs or treatments being covered.
Among the findings reported in the current issue of PLoS Medicine
- Only 23 percent of stories adequately mentioned how much a treatment costs
- Only 28 percent addressed benefits, and just 35 percent discussed the quality of the evidence the story is based on
- Only 38 talked about alternative options to the new treatment
This is kind of disheartening. Makes you wonder how much of this information wellness professionals should pass along to clients, colleagues and even family members. Considering the source does help, at least a bit.
The New York Times, The Washington Post generally got high grades (with a few missteps), and USAToday usually got it right too. Major TV networks scored low--a lot.