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Table 1 Numbers of press releases in each intervention condition following all exclusions, and numbers of intervention suggestions made and adopted

From: Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial

Intervention target Intervention suggestion and uptake Condition
Control Causal claim alignment Causality statement/caveat Both interventions
  N 89 64 79 80
Causal claim alignment Causal claim already aligned a - 25 - 30
Alignment suggested and adopted b - 13 - 22
Alignment suggested and not adopted b - 9 - 15
No causal claim present c - 17 - 13
Statements/caveats about causality Statement/caveat already present - - 27 21
Statement/caveat suggested and adopted d - - 31 35
Statement/caveat suggested and not adopted - - 21 24
  1. a Both headline and main claim were already aligned to the evidence (where causal claims were made). No suggestions made
  2. b Suggestions were made only where causal claims existed and were not already aligned to the evidence. Alignment for the main claims was suggested in 59 press releases. Of these 22 suggestions were also made for the headline (9 adopted)
  3. c If no causal claim was present, suggestions could not be made. These press releases were still included in ITT analysis, but could not be included in AT analysis (where group allocation was based on alignment of causal claims made)
  4. d Causality statements were suggested for experimental evidence, and caveats were suggested for correlational evidence. These suggestions did not depend on the presence of causal claims in headlines or main claims. All press releases were entered into ITT and AT analyses