Testing the Effect of Press Guides on Health Journalists
The purpose of this study is to test the effect of adding a "press guide" to standard materials that journalists routinely receive regarding research published in medical journals.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
|Official Title:||Testing the Effect of Press Guides on Health Journalists|
- Comprehension of facts about the study article (covering study design, exposures, outcome measures, results, limitations, conflicts of interest) assessed using a brief test. [ Time Frame: 0 weeks (assessed during intervention) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Overall judgment of study newsworthiness (e.g., would you argue for/against covering story with editor, how convinced are you of study validity, what headline would you write,and usefulness of press release and (intervention group) press guide. [ Time Frame: 0 weeks (assessed during intervention) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||June 2009|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2010|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date:||June 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Press guide plus press release
Participants in the intervention group will receive a press guide (a one-page summary of study findings written by the investigators) in addition to the journal's full narrative press release for the selected article, a copy of the article's abstract, and a link to the full text of the journal article.
Other: Press Guide
The press guide is a 1-page summary of the study findings, written by the investigators.
No Intervention: Press release only
Participants in the control group will receive the journal's full narrative press release for the selected article, a copy of the article's abstract, and a link to the full text of the journal article.
The news media has a powerful influence on public perceptions about health and health care; and much of what people -- including many physicians -- know and believe about medicine comes from the print and broadcast media. Several studies, however, have raised questions about how well the press covers medical issues, pointing out errors and omissions in coverage and misleading presentations of statistics. The goal is to help train journalists to better understand and cover medical research, and to help improve communication between journalists and medical journals.
Journalists traditionally write newspaper articles about medical research using information from press releases and the medical journal article's abstract or full text. The objective is to test whether the addition of a 'press guide' (a one-page summary of the study findings) in addition to these other materials improves comprehension of facts about the study article and the overall judgment of the newsworthiness of the study.
|Principal Investigator:||Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, MS||White River Junction VAMC|