Fighting severe lack of knowledge

Gerald Gartlehner of Donau-Universität Krems explains in the British Medical Journals podcast how to differentiate between facts and myths amid the health sector

07/10/2019

To distinguish between health-relevant information and claims that cover a wide range of different topics published as advertisements or lifestyle articles has become for the public increasingly difficult. Thus, the public demand for accurate information has grown. In the podcast "BMJ talk medicine: Fighting bad science in Austria" the director of Cochrane Austria, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerald Gartlehner, described how the project “Medizin-Transparent” examines in the media disseminated health-claims using evidence-based methods.

 

"The Medicine Transparent project scrutinizes the content of medical claims. People can contact us when concerned with a variety of health-related questions, such as 'Does orange juice help with dementia?’ We then check these statements with evidence-based methods," explained Prof. Dr. Gerald Gartlehner in the podcast of the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

 

Every year, the team from “Medizin Transparent” responds to about 100 questions directed from the public, to then create media coverage and distribute it via various classic media and social media channels. "The companies that have disseminated this misleading information are not particularly happy about our actions. In the meantime, Cochrane Austria has by now been charged twice, and we have already won one lawsuit successfully. However, companies have to understand that society’s stance is more and more critical. Consumers are questioning the information and are no longer easily misled," says Gerald Gartlehner, the expert in evidence-based medicine.

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