Evaluating Medical Studies: Case in Point -- An Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Report

Medical Author: Jay W. Marks, M.D.

"Most medical information is flawed, but the flaws vary from small, and probably unimportant, to fatal. A major goal of MedicineNet.com is to take medical information, subject it to critical review, and then present only the information that has withstood critical review by expert physicians. We do not just report this information. Our hope is that we also present the information in a manner that is understandable to people who do not have a scientific or medical background." Jay W. Marks, M.D.

I have a neighbor who gives me medical articles from the newspaper if she thinks they might be of interest to me. The other day she gave me an article reporting on a published study that suggested a new cause for irritable bowel syndrome. Because it was published in a newspaper, the article probably had a wide circulation and reached many individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. It is more common now to have patients discuss information they have read in the lay press with their physicians. Therefore, I thought I should be familiar with the article as well as the study itself. I went to the medical library and obtained a copy of the study from the medical journal in which it had been published.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2014

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