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Category Archives: Health Care

Debunking Study Suggests Ways to Counter Misinformation and Correct ‘Fake News’

News release: “It’s no use simply telling people they have their facts wrong. To be more effective at correcting misinformation in news accounts and intentionally misleading “fake news,” you need to provide a detailed counter-message with new information – and get your audience to help develop a new narrative. Those are some takeaways from an extensive new meta-analysis [fee req’d] of laboratory debunking studies published in the journal Psychological Science. The analysis, the first conducted with this collection of debunking data, finds that a detailed counter-message is better at persuading people to change their minds than merely labeling misinformation as wrong. But even after a detailed debunking, misinformation still can be hard to eliminate, the study finds. “The effect of misinformation is very strong,” said co-author Dolores Albarracín, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “When you present it, people buy it. But we also asked whether we are able to correct for misinformation. Generally, some degree of correction is possible but it’s very difficult to completely correct…” “Debunking: A Meta-Analysis of the Psychological Efficacy of Messages Countering Misinformation” was conducted by researchers at the Social Action Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The teams sought “to understand the factors underlying effective messages to counter attitudes and beliefs based on misinformation.” To do that, they examined 20 experiments in eight research reports involving 6,878 participants and 52 independent samples. The analyzed studies, published from 1994 to 2015, focused on false social and political news accounts, including misinformation in reports of robberies; investigations of a warehouse fire and traffic accident; the supposed existence of “death panels” in the 2010 Affordable Care Act; positions of political candidates on Medicaid; and a report on whether a candidate had received donations from a convicted felon. The researchers coded and analyzed the results of the experiments across the different studies and measured the effect of presenting misinformation, the effect of debunking, and the persistence of misinformation.”

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S.: 2016

“The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income increased by 3.2 percent between 2015 and 2016, while the official poverty rate decreased 0.8 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased. Median household income in the United States in 2016 was $59,039, an increase in… Continue Reading

Global Health and the Future Role of the United States

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Global Health and the Future Role of the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24737. “While much progress has been made on achieving the Millenium Development Goals over the last decade, the number and complexity of global health challenges has persisted. Growing forces for globalization… Continue Reading

NYT – If You Build It, the Dutch Will Pedal

If You Build It, the Dutch Will Pedal – “Utrecht, the Netherlands’ fastest growing city, is one of the world’s most bike-friendly places in one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries… In a country where there are more bikes than people — 22.5 million vs. 18 million — daily usage has grown 11 percent in… Continue Reading

CDC – Stay Safer After Hurricanes, Flooding

“Hurricanes can cause dangerous and destructive high winds, flooding, heavy rain, and storm surges. Keep your family safe after a hurricane has made landfall. There may be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, downed power lines, and mold, among others. For tips on how to be safe after a hurricane: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/after.html. Below are a few… Continue Reading

Words ‘climate change’ removed from NIH website removes

Update via the Observer, August 25, 2017 – Energy Department Tells Scientist to Remove ‘Climate Change’ From Study – “On August 24, the Trump administration’s Department of Energy censored a Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science proposal from Dr. Jennifer Bowen, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She posted a screenshot of the email on Facebook,… Continue Reading

CBO – The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions

“Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers receive federal payments to cover costs incurred when offering plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other cost sharing to some people who purchase plans through the ACA marketplaces. If those payments for cost-sharing reductions stopped after the end of this year, participating insurers would raise premiums to cover… Continue Reading

Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report

United States International Trade Commission – Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report, May 2017 “Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report focuses on U.S. exports and imports of professional services, particularly accounting and auditing, architecture and engineering, legal, and management consulting services. In 2015, the United States exported $139.7 billion… Continue Reading

EWG’s Searchable National Tap Water Database

EWG’s Tap Water Database – “Since 2010, water utilities’ testing has found pollutants in Americans’ tap water, according to an EWG drinking water quality analysis of 30 million state water records. Contaminants found in your state/city that are above health guidelines” [enter your zip code or your state to locate a complete guide…you will be… Continue Reading

Drug Prosecutions Drop To Historic Lows In Last 6 Months

“Despite widespread concern about an epidemic of opioid abuse, and announcements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others of stepped up efforts by the Trump administration to address it, federal criminal prosecutions for drug offenses have dropped to historic lows. The latest data, current through June 2017, show that fewer drug offenders were federally prosecuted… Continue Reading

Let us always remember – humans require interaction with nature

Quartz: “In order to feel good, humans require interaction with nature. We have a genetically based affiliation with the natural world—a primal desire for the outdoors known as biophilia. This phenomenon describes our urge to connect with other life forms and manifests itself in our love of gardening and camping to owning pets, gifting flowers,… Continue Reading

HHS Unveils Improved Web Tool to Highlight Recent Breaches of Health Information

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today launched a revised web tool that puts important information into the hands of individuals, empowering them to better identify recent breaches of health information and to learn how all breaches of health information are investigated and successfully resolved.  The HIPAA… Continue Reading