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Interpretation of Health News Items Reporting Results of Randomized Controlled Trials With or Without Spin by English-speaking Patients

2017-03-30 00:08:21 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The main objective of this study is to compare the interpretation of health news items reporting results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with or without spin (i.e., distortion of research results). The news items which reported those studies evaluating the treatment effect, having highest number of spin in the headline and text and received high online public attention will be selected. Spin will be deleted and will rewrite the news items without spin. This sample of news items reporting results of RCTs with and without spin will be interpreted by English-speaking patients.

Description

Health news is an important way to communicate updated medical research to the public. News items reporting the results of medical research attract a large audience. However, the quality of reporting in health news is questionable. The merits of a wide range of treatments and tests are overplayed and harms are underplayed. Several studies have shown the presence of spin (i.e., distorted presentation of study results) in health news. Distorted facts can be misleading and can affect the behaviour of physicians, healthcare providers and patients. However, little research has assessed whether spin can affect readers' interpretation of health news items.

Objective: "Spin" is defined as a misrepresentation of study results whatever the motive (intentionally or unintentionally) to highlight that the beneficial effect of the intervention in terms of efficacy and safety is greater than that shown by the results. To compare the interpretation of health news items reporting RCTs with or without spin. News items evaluating the effect of a pharmacological treatment that received high online public attention will be focused.

Hypothesis: The hypothesis of this study is that the spin can influence the reader's interpretation of health news items reporting results of RCTs.

Design: A randomized controlled trial

1. Interventions: Health news items reporting results of RCTs with and without spin will be compared. A sample of health news items reporting the results of RCTs evaluating the effect of pharmacologic treatment and containing highest number of spin in the headline and text will be selected. Spin will be deleted in the selected news items and will be rewritten the news items without spin.

2. Participants: The participants will include English-speaking patients from an online patient community.

3. Sample size: The sample size will be 300 patients.

4. The primary outcome will be perception of beneficial effect of the treatment X. We will ask participants, what do you think is the probability that treatment X would be beneficial to patients? (scale, 0 [very unlikely] to 10 [very likely]). Perception of safety and beneficial effects of treatment in clinical studies is considered as a surrogate marker of health outcome as it may have an impact on the future development of the drug, and then the potential use of the drug for patients.

5. Expected results: This study will evaluate the impact of spin on the interpretation of news items reporting results of RCTs by English-speaking patients.

6. This study is approved by ethics review regulations by INSERM (CEEI-IRB): IRB00003888

Study Design

Conditions

The Study Focus on no Specific Condition

Intervention

News items with spin, News items without spin

Location

Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Paris
Ile-de-france
France
75004

Status

Not yet recruiting

Source

Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-03-30T00:08:21-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A technique for detecting short-lived reactive FREE RADICALS in biological systems by providing a nitrone or nitrose compound for an addition reaction to occur which produces an ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE SPECTROSCOPY-detectable aminoxyl radical. In spin trapping, the compound trapping the radical is called the spin trap and the addition product of the radical is identified as the spin adduct. (Free Rad Res Comm 1990;9(3-6):163)

Molecules which contain an atom or a group of atoms exhibiting an unpaired electron spin that can be detected by electron spin resonance spectroscopy and can be bonded to another molecule. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Chemical and Technical Terms, 4th ed)

Work consisting of a news item appearing in a general-interest newspaper or other general news periodical, containing information of current and timely interest in the field of medicine or science. This publication type should not be confused with NEWS Publication Type, reserved for news reports published in various medical or other scientific journals, such as "Nature".

Works consisting of an announcement or statement of recent or current events of new data and matters of interest in the field of medicine or science. In some publications, such as "Nature" or "Science," the news reports are substantively written and herald medical and scientific data of vital or controversial importance.

Disordered behavior associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning and persistent difficulty parting with possessions due to a perceived need to save the items and distress associated with discarding them. (from DSM-V) The quantity of collected items sets the behavior apart from normal collecting behaviors.

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