Bias by extreme selection as BBC Scotland seriously distort your view on cancer care several times a day


 Earlier in the day, we heard the fact that ‘the vast majority of’ or ‘95%’ of cancer patients expressing positivity about their care, could be presented by Reporting Scotland, as merely ‘most.’ It was a clear attempt to continue a campaign against NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, by proxy. In that case we might call it bias by distortion or, in common parlance, lying.

Later, we heard opening the report, this claim:

‘Many cancer patients are missing out on emotional, financial and practical support which they feel should have been available to them.’

They do go on to tell us that the above is ‘part of a survey’ and that 95% rated the care positively, ‘but just over half got sufficient psychological and emotional support.’ So ‘many’ turns out to be less than half but more important ‘part of’ turns out to be just 1 of 21 outcomes, looking at the actual report. The ‘part’ is, the 15th (page 2) outcome:

‘Just over half of respondents (55 per cent) felt they had been completely supported emotionally / psychologically by healthcare professionals during their cancer treatment.’

It’s interesting to note that the 55% who did feel they had been supported can be referred to as ‘just over half.’ Were the 55% who voted NO in 2014, ‘just over half’ or did the 10% gap matter?

The other 20 outcomes range from the good to the excellent and it takes an agenda to think you have reported it fairly by picking out the one least positive and headlining that. The report is a triumph for NHS Scotland. We should thank whoever we thank that we have it. This is a bad case of bias by extreme selection.’


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