The problem with press releases

It’s a simple point that bears repeating – be cautious about getting information about migraine from press releases.  Thanks to Teri Robert for pointing this blog entry out from Abi’s Migrainous Wanderings.  In Be skeptical of Migraine info in press releases!, Abi gives an example of a press release that leaves the impression that medical techniques can cure migraine.

I say it leaves the impression because that’s not actually what it says.  But the problem is not only that it leaves the impression, but the way that press release may be treated in the media.  A press release that says,”New hope for migraine sufferers” soon becomes “new hope for a cure” which becomes “medical breakthrough cures migraine”.  When you get back to the original story, you find it was just an over-optimistic small study.  I’ve heard it in our local news, and you’ve probably heard it in yours (or worse, heard a friend ask you why you haven’t tried the new “cure”!).

Sometimes press releases are excellent.  Other times, they’re simply put out by a company trying to sell a product – maybe a good product, maybe an old product, maybe a bad product.  So take what you read with a grain of salt.  Thanks, Abi, for the reminder!

Press releases

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