Mind the Brain

A skeptical look at The Lancet behavioural activation versus CBT for depression (COBRA) study

A skeptical look at: Richards DA, Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Warren FC, Barrett B, Farrand PA, Gilbody S, Kuyken W, O’Mahen H. et al. Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. The Lancet. 2016 Jul 23.   All the Queen’s … Continue reading "A skeptical look at The Lancet behavioural activation versus CBT for depression (COBRA) study"

Hans Eysenck’s contribution to cognitive behavioral therapy for physical health problems: fraudulent data

The centenary of the birth of Hans Eysenck is being marked by honoring his role in bringing clinical psychology to the UK and pioneering cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). There is largely silence about his publishing fraudulent data, editorial misconduct, and substantial undeclared conflicts of interest. The articles in which Eysenck used fraudulent data are no … Continue reading "Hans Eysenck’s contribution to cognitive behavioral therapy for physical health problems: fraudulent data"

Getting realistic about changing the direction of suicide prevention research

A recent JAMA: Psychiatry article makes some important points about the difficulties addressing suicide as a public health problem before sliding into the authors’ promotion of their personal agendas. Christensen H, Cuijpers P, Reynolds CF. Changing the Direction of Suicide Prevention Research: A Necessity for True Population Impact. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016. This issue of Mind … Continue reading "Getting realistic about changing the direction of suicide prevention research"

Study: Switching from antidepressants to mindfulness meditation increases relapse

A well-designed recent study found that patients with depression in remission who switch from maintenance antidepressants to mindfulness meditation without continuing medication had an increase in relapses. The study is better designed and more transparently reported than a recent British study, but will get none of the British study’s attention. The well-orchestrated promotion of mindfulness … Continue reading "Study: Switching from antidepressants to mindfulness meditation increases relapse"

Effect of a missing clinical trial on what we think about cognitive behavior therapy

Data collection for a large, well-resourced study of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for psychosis was completed years ago, but the study remains unpublished. Its results could influence the overall evaluation of CBT versus alternative treatments if integrated with what is already known. Political considerations can determine whether completed psychotherapy studies get published or remain lost. … Continue reading "Effect of a missing clinical trial on what we think about cognitive behavior therapy"

Stalking a Cheshire cat: Figuring out what happened in a psychotherapy intervention trial

John Ioannidis, the “scourge of sloppy science”  has documented again and again that the safeguards being introduced into the biomedical literature against untrustworthy findings are usually ineffective. In Ioannidis’ most recent report , his group: …Assessed the current status of reproducibility and transparency addressing these indicators in a random sample of 441 biomedical journal articles … Continue reading "Stalking a Cheshire cat: Figuring out what happened in a psychotherapy intervention trial"

Advocating CBT for Psychosis: “Ultimately it is all political.”

Political… Or just cynical? Professor Paul Salkovskis and his colleagues organized a lively, thought-provoking conference at University of Bath “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: How well do we understand and what should we do to improve how we help?” Presenters and members of the roundtable discussion panel included a number of authors of the British Psychological … Continue reading "Advocating CBT for Psychosis: “Ultimately it is all political.”"

Consistently poor coverage of mental health issues in The Guardian

Issuing a readers’ advisory: The Guardian provides misleading, badly skewed coverage of mental health issues vitally important to mental health service users. Stories in The Guardian can confuse and disempower mental health service users seeking information for difficult decisions about choosing and sticking to treatments. Articles labeled Psychology and Health and sometimes Science don’t adhere … Continue reading "Consistently poor coverage of mental health issues in The Guardian"

Is mindfulness-based therapy ready for rollout to prevent relapse and recurrence in depression?

Doubts that much of clinical or policy significance was learned from a recent study published in Lancet Promoters of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) notoriously established a record for academics endorsing a psychotherapy as better than alternatives, in the absence of evidence from adequately sized, high quality studies with suitable active control/comparison conditions. The credibility … Continue reading "Is mindfulness-based therapy ready for rollout to prevent relapse and recurrence in depression?"

Delusional? Trial in Lancet Psychiatry claims brief CBT reduces paranoid delusions

In this issue of Mind the Brain, I demonstrate a quick assessment of the conduct and reporting of a clinical trial.  The authors claimed in Lancet Psychiatry a “first ever” in targeting “worries” with brief cognitive therapy as a way of reducing persistent persecutory delusions in psychotic persons. A Guardian article written by the first … Continue reading "Delusional? Trial in Lancet Psychiatry claims brief CBT reduces paranoid delusions"

Busting foes of post-publication peer review of a psychotherapy study

As described in the last issue of Mind the Brain, peaceful post-publication peer reviewers (PPPRs) were ambushed by an author and an editor. They used the usual home team advantages that journals have – they had the last word in an exchange that was not peer-reviewed. As also promised, I will team up in this … Continue reading "Busting foes of post-publication peer review of a psychotherapy study"