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HITTING THE HEADLINES Centre for Reviews and Dissemination University of York Alison Booth ab42@york.ac.uk Vickie Orton vo2@york.ac.uk A digital library, designed to provide health care professionals with knowledge and know-how to support health care related decisions

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slide1

HITTING THE HEADLINES

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

University of York

Alison Booth ab42@york.ac.uk

Vickie Orton vo2@york.ac.uk

national electronic library for health
A digital library, designed to provide health care professionals with knowledge and know-how to support health care related decisions

Access to the best current knowledge on healthcare for the NHS, patients, carers and the public

National electronic Library for Health
hitting the headlines
Hitting the Headlines
  • Aimed at busy health professionals
  • Selected news reports
  • Unbiased, brief and readable summaries
    • appraising the research evidence
    • comment on accuracy of news report
  • ‘Live’ within 48 hours of newspaper story
selecting a headline to hit
Selecting a Headline to Hit
  • News story in national weekly newspaper(s)
    • Reference to research
    • Priority given to ‘big’ stories
  • Effects of a health care or health related intervention that is or could be provided or recommended by the NHS
    • Drug treatment
    • Surgical intervention
    • Diagnostic procedure or tool
    • Health promotion or prevention programme
what we don t do
What we don’t do….

Surgeons rebuilt my tongue – from my arm

Music helped me forget Tourette’s

Risk of brain damage from mobile phone use

21 days to get a beautiful back

Countdown for a rear view to rival Geri’s

p ress w atch health pharmaceutical news
PRESSWATCHHEALTH & PHARMACEUTICAL NEWS

VITAMINS CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH, WARNS WATCHDOG

The Food Standards Agency has said that taking large doses of vitamins and minerals over long periods of time can cause cancer, liver damage, depression and stomach upsets. Health store chiefs have automatically denounced the claim, saying that it was 'a reaction of the nanny state.'

THE TIMES PAGE: 1 (101189) DAILY EXPRESS PAGE: 14 (101827) FINANCIAL TIMES PAGE: 3 (101492) THE GUARDIAN PAGE: 8 (101727) THE INDEPENDENT PAGE: 5 (101655) DAILY MIRROR PAGE: 27 (101978) THE SUN PAGE: 55 (101524) DAILY TELEGRAPH PAGE: 1 (101509) DAILY TELEGRAPH PAGE: 6 (101639) THE TIMES PAGE: 4 (101363)

women on the pill still fall pregnant
Women on the Pill ‘still fall pregnant’

Daily Telegraph, 30/04/03

  • ‘Dr Bajos, who outlined the findings in Human Reproduction, said it was….’

Daily Express, 30/04/03

  • ‘The study, which appeared in the journal Human Reproduction, revealed that….’

Human Reproduction Vol.18, No5 pp.994-999, 2003

Contraception: from accessibility to efficiency

Nathalie Bajos, Henri Leridon, Helene Goulard, Pascale Oustry, Nadine Job-Spira and The COCON Group

critical appraisal
Critical Appraisal
  • Where does the evidence come from?
  • What were the authors' objectives?
  • What was the nature of the evidence?
  • What were the factors of interest?
  • What were the findings?
  • What were the authors’ conclusions?
  • How reliable are the authors’ conclusions?
commentary on the newspaper article
Commentary on the newspaper article
  • Does the newspaper article accurately summarise the findings of the original research?
  • Does it accurately reflect the possibility of patients having access to the treatment?
  • Is the article likely to give rise to unfounded levels of anxiety or expectation?
  • ‘Could Ginseng replace insulin?’
  • ‘Drug from a tree bark is shown to help beat cancer’
  • ‘Don’t vinda lose your mind’
format of hitting the headlines story
Format of Hitting the Headlines story
  • Headline – quote or neutral
  • First paragraph – subject, accuracy of newspaper story and quality of research
format of hitting the headlines story11
Format of Hitting the Headlines story
  • Bullet Points
    • Newspaper
    • Research
    • Relation between the two
  • Evaluation of the Evidence Base
  • Systematic Reviews
  • References and Resources
  • Consumer links
the nature of news
The nature of news

“Newspapers are not mere repositories of information. They are organs grappling for readers attention against burning toast, mewling infants, windy station platforms and crowded bars.”

"News value is equivalent to surprise. It's not a comparative exercise in the value of human life.“

what is published must be read
What is published must be read
  • Bad news
  • Unusual news
  • Conflict / disputes
  • Miracles
  • Relevance to readers
  • Human interest
journalistic constraints
Journalistic constraints
  • time to select
  • time to write
  • brevity
  • simplicity
  • editorial policy
  • external influences
what is news worthy 4 days of mail
What is news worthy - 4 days of mail
  • Three books
  • Three feature articles
  • 30 invites to press conferences
  • 14 newsletters / bulletins
  • 56 scientific / medical press releases
  • 47 press releases from the computer industry
  • One directory of contacts from a university
  • 24 journals magazines
trusted sources
Trusted sources

Journalists rely heavily on journal peer review processes to guide them in the selection and development of stories

  • Lancet
  • BMJ
  • JAMA
  • New England Journal of Medicine
journalistic constraints18
Journalistic constraints
  • time to select
  • time to write
  • brevity
  • simplicity
  • editorial policy
  • external influences
external influences on newspaper reporting
External influences on newspaper reporting
  • Researchers
  • Funders
  • Academic publishers
  • Interest groups
external influences in action
External influences in action

Next day hip replacement could save NHS millions

  • Press release issued by a hospital
  • PR company
  • Interview with patient Shirley Mattin
  • Patient info website
  • Contact details for hospitals / surgeons

Only one newspaper questioned evidence base

anatomy of a newspaper article the headline
Anatomy of a Newspaper ArticleThe headline

Drug that may halve the chance of breast cancer

The cancer ‘frisker’

Wand waved over the body finds tumours

Claim of MMR dangers dismissed as ‘flawed’

MMR study finds links to brain illnesses

Vaccine for skin cancer

anatomy of a newspaper article the journalist
James Chapman

Dr Jane Collins

Nigel Hawkes

Sarah Boseley

Steve Connor

Roland Watson

David Derbyshire

Michael Cross

Jeremy Lawrence

Science Correspondent

The Times children’s doctor

Health Editor

Health Editor

Science Editor

Chief Political Correspondent

Medical Correspondent

Freelance

Health Editor

Anatomy of a newspaper articleThe Journalist
anatomy of a newspaper article 1 opening paragraph key information
HRT risks outweigh benefits, says study

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent

The dangers of hormone replacement therapy outweigh any of its bone strengthening health benefits, says a study.

Anatomy of a Newspaper Article1. Opening paragraph – key information

1

anatomy of a newspaper article 2 information is given in decreasing order of importance
Women should be given only the combined oestrogen-progestin treatment for “short-term relief” during the menopause, according to American researchers.

Cancer Research UK said some forms of HRT doubled the risk of breast cancer and warned women taking it for more than a year to seek advice from their doctors.

Other American studies have found an increased risk of heart disease.

Anatomy of a Newspaper Article2. Information is given in decreasing order of importance

2

anatomy of a newspaper article 3 the perspective
Around 1.5 million women take HRT in Britain – half take a combined version and the rest the oestrogen-only pill or patch. The New study from the University of Pittsburgh published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at 16,608 women aged 50 to 79. Half took oestrogen and progestin, while the others took a placebo.

The Daily Telegraph, Wed., October 1, 2003

Anatomy of a Newspaper Article3. The perspective

3

what are the implications
What are the implications?
  • How might this affect patients?
  • How might this affect practice?
  • How might this affect policy?
  • How does this relate to the existing body of evidence?
the cancer frisker wand waved over the body finds tumours
The cancer ‘frisker’Wand waved over the body finds tumours

“A HAND-HELD scanner that ‘frisks’ patients for cancer is being hailed by doctors as a major breakthrough.

The Star Trek-style wand, which is simply swiped over a patient’s body, has produced remarkable results in two trials.”

slide28

The cancer ‘frisker’Wand waved over the body finds tumours

  • Details of the studies
  • Quotes from researchers
  • Historical background to the idea
  • How the device actually works
  • Comparison with existing technology
  • The future development
slide29

The cancer ‘frisker’Wand waved over the body finds tumours

“However, the results of the early trials have yet to appear in a major medical journal, and should be regarded with caution until then, according to a report published today in New Scientist magazine.”

Daily Mail, Thursday, June 12, 2003 Page 41

how to read a newspaper article
How to read a newspaper article
  • Don’t let the headline distract you
  • Read the whole of the article
  • Ask yourself:
    • What is being reported?
    • Why is it being reported?
    • What the the implications for:
      • Practice?
      • Patients? in the context of existing evidence
      • Policy?
finding the research behind the story

Finding the research behind the story

Vickie Orton

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

University of York

vo2@york.ac.uk

slide32
Suntan lotion “raises risk of cancer”Daily Mail 29/9/03

Sun cream cancer alert Daily Express 29/9/03

Cancer Shock over suncreams Daily Star 29/09/03

Where do you go from here ?

take a closer look
Take a closer look…..
  • Has Hitting the Headlines already covered the story

Check at http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/

  • Find the research:
    • Journals http://www.ingenta.com

http://www.medwebplus.com

    • Conference papers http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/zetoc/

http://www.medicalconferences.com/

    • Research organisations
    • Charitable trusts
    • BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/default.stm
    • Public Health Genetics Unit http://www.phgu.org.uk/rapid_response/about_rapid_response.shtml
  • Obtain full copies of references
  • Useful meta search engines include www.alltheweb.com or

www.dogpile.com and www.metor.com

found it
Found it!
  • DARE http://nhscrd.york.ac.uk/welcome.htm
  • Cochrane Library http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/cochrane.asp
  • TRIP http://www.update-software.com/scripts/clibng/usauth.exe?Server=TRIPUSER&Product=TRIP&Guest=YES
  • NRR http://www.update-software.com/National/
  • ReFeR http://www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/refr_web.nsf/Home?OpenForm
  • CRD publications http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/dissem.htm
  • Consumer links http://www.omni.ac.uk or http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
  • Appraisal…..
can t find it
Can’t find it…..
  • Sometimes a reference cannot be traced
    • either because insufficient detail has been given in the newspaper article http://www.wrx.zen.co.uk/britnews.htm
    • it is prepublication of the research http://www.biomedcentral.com
    • Check Hitting the Headlines archive at http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/hth/archive.asp
    • the article is not based on published research
where to next
Where to next?
  • Try contacting the author http://expertise.cos.com/
  • Try contacting the university/research centre
    • Universities of the World http://geowww.uibk.ac.at/univ/
    • University of Wolverhampton UK Sensitive maps http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/ukinfo/uk.map.html
  • Press releases or abstracts of conference proceedings can be useful if the full research is not available

http://www.alphagalileo.org/

  • CRD Information Service Email crd-info@york.ac.uk, tel 01904 321 0846
  • Gather best evidence on the topic if you think it

may be of interest to clinicians and patients

slide37
Suntan lotion “raises risk of cancer”Daily Mail 29/9/03

Sun cream cancer alert Daily Express 29/9/03

Cancer Shock over suncreams Daily Star 29/09/03

Where do you go from here ?

slide38
“The failure has been revealed by a new method of measuring protection – or lack of it- offered by sunscreens, that has been developed by medical research trust Raft.

Dr Claire Linge, head of cell biology at Raft,…..”

Daily Express Monday 29th September 2003

“The findings of the 13 year old study led by Professor Sanders, who is based at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, North-West London, will be revealed today”.

Daily Mail Monday September 29th 2003

the crd way
The CRD Way
  • Search for Mount Vernon Hospital using Google
the crd way41
The CRD Way
  • Search for Mount Vernon Hospital
  • Search for RAFT (using Google)
the crd way43
The CRD Way
  • Search for Mount Vernon Hospital
  • Search for RAFT (using Google)
  • RAFT press release provided information on the journal in which the research is published
  • Obtain journal article
the crd way46
The CRD Way
  • Search for Mount Vernon Hospital
  • Search for RAFT
  • RAFT press release provided information on the journal in which the research is published
  • Obtain journal article
  • Search for related systematic reviews and CRD publications
  • Add relevant consumer links
  • Pass to reviewers and dissemination team
  • Back to the Information Team to convert to HTML
  • Sent to NeLH to appear on website

http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/hth/sunscreen_cancer.asp

slide50

Recognising good evidence:

appraising studies that are ‘Hitting The Headlines’

appraisal checklists
Appraisal Checklists
  • Very popular and useful
  • Many now available (http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/hth/help4.asp)
  • None are definitive! Heavy reliance on them could mean missing something important.
  • Use with flexibility of thought
  • Which checklist you use depends on your purpose
how do we start to appraise a research study
How do we start to appraise a research study ?
  • Internal Validity

how reliable are the results of the study?

how biased (or susceptible to bias) is the

study?

  • External Validity

how useful are the results

how do we start to appraise a research study53
How do we start to appraise a research study ?
  • Think critically about:

the question it set out to answer

the methods used

the people studied

what was measured and how

how the data were collected and analysed

were the conclusions justified