Quick Thoughts

Beware of the pinkwashing of suicide prevention

Cause marketing of cosmetics to prevent suicide could mark the return of exploitation of a good cause for profit. Just as with we learned with Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon campaigns, we need to ask questions about where the profits are going and whether we should object.

“1 in 2 cancer patients significantly distressed”? Fake news from Psycho-Oncology

Study in Wiley journal Psycho-Oncology generates fake facts to promote cancer as a mental health problem and portray cancer patients in need of mandatory screening for distress.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction to improve the mental health of breast cancer patients

A widely cited meta analysis of mindfulness based stress reduction for cancer patients actually shows little evidence of effectiveness.

Is mindfulness training the new “gateway drug” to quack breast cancer treatments?

Promoters of mindfulness-based stress reduction(MBSR) as a cure for all that ails to be clear that effects MBSR on the immune system and the course and outcome of cancer are not established

How to (re)create the illusion that psychotherapy extends the life of cancer patients

I provide a quick analysis of a story summarizing a peer-reviewed paper that did not encourage me to take a look at the paper.  Life is too short, and there is just so much dubious stuff out there to devote much time pursue tracing claims that don’t pass a first screen. The British Psychological Society […]

Psychologists get continued education credit for learning quack methods of mind control over aging and cancer

The scandal of useless and even harmful continued education credit Psychologists can get continued education credit for completing an online test concerning Ellen Langer’s book, Counterclockwise. The book explains how to reverse aging and fight cancer by getting people immersed in an earlier time by listening to older music and watching old television programs. Psychologists […]

Most positive findings in psychology false or exaggerated? An activist’s perspective

Abstract of a  talk to be given at the Australian National University (ANU), room G08, Building  39, 3pm September  11, 2014. UPDATE (October 24, 2014): Here is a link to the Powerpoint presentation and to a YouTube interview with ANU Research School of Psychology’s Professor Mike Smithson. A list of relevant links to James Coyne’s […]

Does psychotherapy work for depressive symptoms in cancer patients?

The futility of debating bad science in letters to the editor My post at PLOS Mind the Brain summarizes criticisms of a meta-analysis of psychological interventions for depressive symptoms in cancer patients that was organized by the Society of Behavioral Medicine. The authors systematically searched the literature, but found too few studies to justify their […]

Five studies claimed to demonstrate efficacy of psychotherapy for depression in cancer patients

At my primary blog site, PLOS Mind the Brain I am critically discussing an article for which this post provides some resources helpful for readers in forming their own opinions. Hart, S. L., Hoyt, M. A., Diefenbach, M., Anderson, D. R., Kilbourn, K. M., Craft, L. L., … & Stanton, A. L. (2012). Meta-analysis of […]

How not to recruit cancer patients for a psychological intervention trial

We started out with what we thought was a solid rationale for how we should recruit cancer patients for a clinical trial. We recognized that the patients who were recruited needed to be sufficiently distressed to register an effect for the problem-solving therapy (PST) we were evaluating. So we invested in efforts to systematically screen […]

References for “Where’s the evidence that screening for distress benefits cancer patients?”

Thanks for all the enthusiasm  about my recent blog post commenting on an embedded slide presentation. These materials came from my side of a debate with UK psychiatrist Alex Mitchell at the International Psycho Oncology Conference, Rotterdam, November 7, 2013. And of course, thanks to all who reacted so positively at the conference itself. Promoting […]