Prescription for Obfuscation
Posted by: Barbara Bibel
Pick up a newspaper or magazine, turn on the television news, or look at any number of websites, and you will find a report about a new medical breakthrough or a previously used treatment or test that is now considered questionable or dangerous. What should you do? Often, the report is based on minimal evidence. There is a cure for this! The National Library of Medicine's new website PubMed health at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/ helps people make sense of these confusing stories. The home page says "What works? Clinical effectiveness." It offers information at both the professional and lay levels about current medical news along with a page that explains clinical effectiveness and tells users how to understand research studies. It also has a featured review, currently, therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders, and a behind the headlines page, which discusses those sensational breaking stories. With collaboration from the National Institute for Health Research, the Cochrane Collaboration, and several major medical centers, this will certainly ease information confusion. Take as needed.