Testing the Effect of Press Guides on Health Journalists

This study is enrolling participants by invitation only.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Information provided by:
White River Junction VAMC
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00938938
First received: June 17, 2009
Last updated: April 20, 2010
Last verified: April 2010
  Purpose

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.


Condition Intervention
Medical Reporting
Other: Press Guide

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Official Title: Testing the Effect of Press Guides on Health Journalists

Further study details as provided by White River Junction VAMC:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • 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 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • 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 ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
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)
Arms Assigned Interventions
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.

Detailed Description:

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.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All journalists attending the 2009 NIH/Dartmouth/VA Medicine in the Media Symposium will be invited to participate in the study.
  • The symposium, which is held annually, is open to journalists across the country and from abroad.

Participants who are Health Journalists at the Health Journalism 2010 conference will be invited to participate in the study. This annual conference is being held in Chicago, IL at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place During April 22, 2010-April 25, 2010.

  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00938938

Sponsors and Collaborators
White River Junction VAMC
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, MS White River Junction VAMC
  More Information

Publications:
Responsible Party: Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, MS, White River Junction VAMC
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00938938     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 16782, NCI R01CA104721
Study First Received: June 17, 2009
Last Updated: April 20, 2010
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by White River Junction VAMC:
risk communication
medical reporting
Mass media

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on April 15, 2014