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Archive for Saturday, March 23, 2013

Letter: Flawed study

March 23, 2013

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To the editor:

I felt you provided a great service to your readers when you interviewed Dr. Ron Weiner (Journal-World, March 19) about seasonal allergies, the way they are diagnosed and treatment advice ranging from evidence-based medical care to common sense ways to manage one’s environment. However, in the same section, you ran an article entitled “Acupuncture may help relieve allergies, study indicates.” Time and space doesn’t permit me to explain the plethora of errors, falsehoods and fallacies contained within the article, but suffice it to say that it was poor science journalism reporting on a flawed study. For example, compare the headline, which implies acupuncture is an effective therapy, with the paragraph in column two, which concludes: “The improvements may not have been large enough to be noticeable or to make much of a difference to people...”

Poorly researched and written science articles such as this one confuse the public and may cause harm by encouraging people to seek inappropriate treatment for potentially serious medical issues. The only needles that are of any benefit in the treatment of seasonal allergies are the skin tests and allergy shots that are often recommended by qualified medical personnel such as Dr. Weiner.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 7 months ago

But, I thought that placebos were powerful medicine. I know some of them are very expensive, that's for sure.

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vlivs 1 year, 6 months ago

Thanks for your letter. I also noticed that the study concluded acupuncture made no real difference, but the headline was written to be dramatic, so it lied. We have to trust studies to some extent because that's the scientific process that has made our lives so much better.

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