Studies - real or fake?

By Aaron1977 Latest Reply 2011-02-24 16:14:22 -0600
Started 2011-02-21 12:12:59 -0600

My wife works for a research lab and she questions everything. I will often tell her that I read about a study that links this or that to heart disease or cancer, etc. She always responds with where did the data come from? Where was the study published? Has it been reproduced in another lab? Was it peer reviewed? Is it the true results of the study or someone's interpretation of the results? Etc. It has taught me to be very skeptical of "studies". Especially since every day one study or another is proven false. For example - I eat eggs almost every day and my Cholesterol is 142. It was proven that the guy who linked autism to vaccines was falsifying his data. 2 different doctors can have 2 different opinions about a medical problem. There are a hundred examples of this. It is almost scary was is published nowadays.

What are everyone's thoughts on reading about new "studies"? Do you have a final / trusted source of information? Do you take things at face value or are you skeptical like I am (now)? When I say trusted - what I really mean is - how likely are you to change your day-to-day behavior because of the study?

7 replies

MewElla 2011-02-24 08:01:54 -0600 Report

New studies indicate to me another's group interpretation and from there the media usually takes it and blows a lot of it up for public relations. I am afraid I am somewhat skeptical until I hear and read more about the New studies. Certainly would not change my daily behaviors because of this reporting…

Tracy Blue
Tracy Blue 2011-02-21 22:54:13 -0600 Report

It’s great you’re asking questions about this topic of discussion. Sometimes you need to ask lots of questions to get the answers you need. There may be so much information out there, you’re not sure you’re getting the best information. I’m actually doing a survey to see how we can improve the conversations that you’re having online and the information you’re getting about your healthcare. If you have a few minutes, I would really appreciate your feedback on this survey. I work for a company that helps patients find research opportunities that may be appropriate for them.

Hope you have a great start to your week :)

GabbyPA 2011-02-22 19:50:34 -0600 Report

Thank you. I took the survey and it is interesting because this topic has come up a lot lately in our discussions. If you would like more participation, start a fresh discussion with the link in it and you will most likely get more hits on it.

GabbyPA 2011-02-21 12:56:27 -0600 Report

There is surely cause for skepticism. Eggs and cholesterol can be far more linked to our genetics. Medical opinions are as varied as the rainbow. We constantly say here that we are all different and there is not a "one size fits all" treatment. We NEED research and we NEED honest reporting. There are studies out there that are, but there are also many that are tainted by "sponsors". Often, those links are hidden very deep and hard to find unless you research things relentlessly. The internet is a blessing and a curse.

Aaron1977 2011-02-21 18:05:56 -0600 Report

I think people forget that scientists need grants to fund their research - so the more outrageous the claim - the more attention they get and more likely to get funding. Same thing holds true for the media, authors of books, etc. So I find it hard to believe studies when first presented. When you get the info from more than one source - and no one is trying to make a buck off of it - then it is more likely to be believable.