A study from the journal PLOS One finds that no more than half of medical breakthroughs reported by media actually turn out to be useful, or confirmed, in follow-up studies.
Less than half of the 156 primary studies examined by the report were later supported by further analysis. In fact, 51.3% of those primary studies were never actually confirmed with corresponding meta-analyses.
Unfortunately, unconfirmed studies will rarely reach the eyes of readers as frequently as “new findings” in medical studies.
“Journalists preferentially cover initial findings although they are often contradicted by meta-analyses and rarely inform the public when they are disconfirmed,” the report concluded.
Read full story at: NPR