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Studying Studies

(Photo by Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There is a wonderful study out of Stanford University that takes a look at, well, studies.

Scientists looked at 3000 medical review articles and found only one out of ten studies actually showed a major treatment effect. A lot more studies claim it, but the number is only one in ten.

And, in actuality, only six percent of these studies were able to show this again.

So how do you filter the daily breakthroughs that you hear about in the news?

The first step is very important: the messenger has to understand the studies and put them in perspective as they present the information which means that you have to do your homework choosing the messenger.

Beyond that, there is a very important concept to understand. Studies are like chapters in a book. Not every chapter is the most crucial, but it is the entire book that has the real message.

The key is not to over react to one specific report.