It seems to happen almost every day - you hear about the results of a new medical research study. Sometimes the results of one study seem to disagree with the results of another study.
It's important to be critical when reading or listening to reports of new medical findings. Some questions that can help you evaluate health information include:
- Was the study in animals or people?
- Does the study include people like you?
- How big was the study?
- Was it a randomized controlled clinical trial?
- Where was the research done?
- If a new treatment was being tested, were there side effects?
- Who paid for the research?
- Who is reporting the results?
NIH: National Institutes of Health
- Clinical Research and Clinical Trials (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Discoveries in Basic Science: A Perfectly Imperfect Process (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Research (National Human Genome Research Institute)
- Know the Science: 9 Questions To Help You Make Sense of Health Research (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Understanding Health Risks: Improve Your Chances for Good Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Placebo Effect (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF
Videos and Tutorials
- Understanding Medical Words: A Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Using Research Organisms to Study Health and Disease (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Figuring Out Health News (Nemours Foundation)