Mind the Brain

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"

Before you enroll your child in the MAGENTA chronic fatigue syndrome study: Issues to be considered

[October 3 8:23 AM Update: I have now inserted Article 21 of the Declaration of Helsinki below, which is particularly relevant to discussions of the ethical problems of Dr. Esther Crawley’s previous SMILE trial.] Petitions are calling for shutting down the MAGENTA trial. Those who organized the effort and signed the petition are commendably brave, … Continue reading "Before you enroll your child in the MAGENTA chronic fatigue syndrome study: Issues to be considered"

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"

Was independent peer review of the PACE trial articles possible?

I ponder this question guided by Le Chavalier C. Auguste Dupin, the first fictional detective, before anyone was called “detective.” Articles reporting the PACE trial have extraordinary numbers of authors, acknowledgments, and institutional affiliations. A considerable proportion of all persons and institutions involved in researching chronic fatigue and related conditions in the UK have a … Continue reading "Was independent peer review of the PACE trial articles possible?"

Uninterpretable: Fatal flaws in PACE Chronic Fatigue Syndrome follow-up study

Earlier decisions by the investigator group preclude valid long-term follow-up evaluation of CBT for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). At the outset, let me say that I’m skeptical whether we can hold the PACE investigators responsible for the outrageous headlines that have been slapped on their follow-up study and on the comments they have made in … Continue reading "Uninterpretable: Fatal flaws in PACE Chronic Fatigue Syndrome follow-up study"