Mind the Brain

School-Based Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction Program (MBSR) fails to deliver positive results

No positive effects found for Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction Program with middle and high school students. Evidence of deterioration was found in some subgroup analyses.

“It’s certainly not bareknuckle:” Comments to a journalist about a critique of mindfulness research

We can't assume authors of mindfulness studies are striving to do the best possible science, including being prepared for the possibility of being proven incorrect by their results.

Reflections on my tour of the Soteria Project at St Hedwig Hospital, Berlin

A fabulous, enlightened experiment in Berlin with humane treatment of patients suffering severe mental disorder that we cannot reproduce in the United States.

Creating illusions of wondrous effects of yoga and meditation on health: A skeptic exposes tricks

The tour of the sausage factory is starting, here’s your brochure telling you’ll see.   A recent review has received a lot of attention with it being used for claims that mind-body interventions have distinct molecular signatures that point to potentially dramatic health benefits for those who take up these practices. What Is the Molecular … Continue reading "Creating illusions of wondrous effects of yoga and meditation on health: A skeptic exposes tricks"

Complex PTSD, STAIR, Social Ecology and lessons learned from 9/11- a conversation with Dr. Marylene Cloitre

Dr. Marylene Cloitre is the Associate Director of Research of the National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division and a research Professor of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University, Langone Medical Center in New York City. She is a recipient of several honors related to her service in New … Continue reading "Complex PTSD, STAIR, Social Ecology and lessons learned from 9/11- a conversation with Dr. Marylene Cloitre"

Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you

I was asked by a Danish journalist to examine a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for functional somatic symptoms. I had not previously given the study a close look. I was dismayed by how highly problematic the study was in so many ways. I doubted that the results of the study … Continue reading "Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you"

Hazards of pointing out bad meta-analyses of psychological interventions

  A cautionary tale Psychology has a meta-analysis problem. And that’s contributing to its reproducibility problem. Meta-analyses are wallpapering over many research weaknesses, instead of being used to systematically pinpoint them. – Hilda Bastian Meta-analyses of psychological interventions are often unreliable because they depend on a small number of poor quality, underpowered studies. It is … Continue reading "Hazards of pointing out bad meta-analyses of psychological interventions"

Relaxing vs Stimulating Acupressure for Fatigue Among Breast Cancer Patients: Lessons to be Learned

A chance to test your rules of thumb for quickly evaluating clinical trials of alternative or integrative  medicine in prestigious journals. A chance to increase your understanding of the importance of  well-defined control groups and blinding in evaluating the risk of bias of clinical trials. A chance to understand the difference between merely evidence-based treatments … Continue reading "Relaxing vs Stimulating Acupressure for Fatigue Among Breast Cancer Patients: Lessons to be Learned"

Critical analysis of a meta-analysis of a treatment by authors with financial interests at stake

Update June 2, 2014. This blog has been updated to  respond to information provided in comments on the blog, as well as my examination of the membership of International Scientific Advisory Committee for Triple P Parenting that these comments prompted. The case appears stronger than first thought that this is a thoroughly flawed meta-analysis conducted … Continue reading "Critical analysis of a meta-analysis of a treatment by authors with financial interests at stake"