Superlative use within news articles relating to therapies for multiple sclerosis

Matthew Ferrell, Sydney Ferrell, Ryan Ottwell, Jay Johnson, Matt Vassar

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Superlatives are exaggerative terms that may not accurately portray a treatment's effectiveness, safety, or availability. Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of superlatives in news articles describing multiple sclerosis treatments. Methods: We searched Google News for 11 prespecified superlative terms describing multiple sclerosis therapies in online news articles. Results: We found that news articles commonly describe non-FDA approved multiple sclerosis therapies with superlative terms without providing clinical evidence or attribution. Additionally, no articles were published on a HONcode certified webpage. Conclusion: It is important that healthcare professionals are aware of medical misinformation presented to the public.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102736
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

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