Look out for treatment effects that are described just using words.
An effect of an intervention is a change in an outcome caused by an intervention or treatment. The size of the intervention effect can be described using numbers. For example, 6 out of 10 people may be better after completing the program, and 5 out of 10 people may be better without that program. Then the effect of the intervention (the difference) is 1 more person out of 10 who will be better with the intervention.
Words can also be used to describe the effects of interventions. For example, 2 more people out of 10 might be described as a “small effect”. Words can be easier to understand than numbers, but they can mean different things to different people. Also, words can be used to trick people. For example, someone promoting an intervention might say that it has “amazing results” or might describe a treatment as “natural”, suggesting that it is safe because of that.
REMEMBER: Don’t be tricked by the words that are used to describe treatment effects. When possible, consider the numbers that describe how big an effect is and not just the words.