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David Tuller: Trial By Error: BMJ Still "Looking Into" Lightning Process Paper

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kalliope, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    BMJ Still "Looking Into Lightning Process Paper"

    Tuller has received via CC an e-mail from dr. Brown, editor of Archives of Disease in Childhood, stating that they had previously acknowledged receipt of his complaints, are looking into them and will respond fully when ready.

    Tuller has therefore sent yet another e-mail to dr. Brown.

    So why, after more than four months of investigation, have you still not managed to confirm that the Lightning Process study violated BMJ’s own policy about trial registration? Why have you not acknowledged that the investigators biased their findings by swapping outcome measures based on results from more than half the participants? Why have you not informed your readers of these methodological anomalies? Why has Dr Godlee herself not stepped in to make the appropriate determinations, since you and your editorial team appear unable to handle your responsibilities in a timely manner? Would you agree that this study is likely to impact medical treatment and public policy involving children, and that addressing the issues quickly is therefore critical?
     
    Inara, Amw66, TiredSam and 37 others like this.
  2. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, @dave30th. I like the tone of polite incredulity at the lack of action by the journal. Let's hope it gets the paper retracted.
     
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  3. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Powerful, strong, love it.
     
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  4. Denise

    Denise Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @dave30th - I can't thank you enough for this (and all that you do for us)!
     
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  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had not taken too much notice of the reference to the Lightning Process in the NICE scoping document. However, it does make clear just how close papers like this are to altering clinical practice. I have serious concerns about the SMILE study, greater than pretty much anything else, and I agree with David that it needs proper formal investigation. We cannot afford to have these concerns swept under the carpet.
     
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  6. dave30th

    dave30th Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There are lots of reasons to be concerned about the SMILE study, starting with the LP itself. However, it turned out that you don't even need to criticize the LP itself in order to show that the study is bogus. Just pointing out these flaws should be enough in any normal circumstances for a full retraction. You simply can't do what was done here. The fact that the investigators got research ethics committee approval is no excuse. The REC obviously made a big mistake in approving these maneuvers. The journal should have rejected it for publication.
     
  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    @dave30th and @Jonathan Edwards, do you think it would be a good idea to spell out to the NICE people just what LP actually involves - just how unethical it is, especially with children. I hope they would have the sense to be horrified and to remove it immediately from consideration.
     
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    LOL - this is the key part imo:

    Their journal clearly requires trials to have been prospectively registered - how can anyone claim SMILE was prospectively registered? How can it take them months to realise SMILE was not prospectively registered?
     
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  9. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Has. Phil Parker already scoped a slice of the IAPT pie ?
     
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  10. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you for saying this. It is disturbing when children receive "treatment" where they are taught that they must stop saying how ill they are feeling.

    It is the people that advocate this kind of treatment that need psychological help, so they can start bearing the harsh reality and no longer feel the need to silence the sufferer.
     
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  11. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think this is very important. We forget that other people don't know what it involves.
     
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  12. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think it has been flagged up in such a way that the people who matter will make sure they educate themselves about the problems. One thing I think is clear is that the people at NICE involved with the guidelines are not going to drift through this without making sure they know what needs to be known.
     
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  13. dreampop

    dreampop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sometimes I just say to myself. I'm a hypnotherapist. I've created a cure for ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and many other diseases without any evidence on any aspect of it. But, hey, I just know it will work. One day a pediatric psychologist will perform a study on my treatment. The psychologist's control for an adult telling a child to stand on a piece of paper in a circle of other children, telling him to tell symptoms to 'stop', will be standard medical care. There's nothing wrong with that. The children, half of whom were groomed for selection 2 years in advance, will self-report changes in symptoms. The researcher will be allowed to look at results and swap primary and secondary outcomes half way through.

    Then I think, nah, that's too crazy it will never happen.
     
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  14. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You forgot the part where said researcher, in response to criticism, then goes on a journey through academia to convince the rest of the world that she is a morally good person that stands up for children and good science.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  15. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ETA:
    Archives of Disease in Childhood: Editor's note (Nick Brown, Editor-in-Chief Archives of Disease in Childhood)
     
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  16. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is progress!

    Does anyone have a link to the paper? I'd like to see how obvious that note is.
     
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  17. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  18. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks!

    But when I googled on the title of the paper, I get this link, to an earlier version of the paper where the editor's note doesn't appear at all:

    https://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2017/09/20/archdischild-2017-313375

    and this latest version, where I also can't see the editor's note:

    https://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2017/09/21/archdischild-2017-313375

    So if the editor's note is invisible, what's the point of it?

    @dave30th

    An issue for all papers where the journal didn't do its initial job well and uncritically published a paper with misleading results is how they'll manage to reach all the people who've read the paper and have no reason to go back to the journal site and read it again. I think the journal should have to make an announcement in their latest issue, so as to get the attention of those readers.

    Does that go on in any journal?
     
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  19. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "EQUATOR guidance"
    I'm assuming this is this:


    eta:
     
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  20. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    So they say they have carried out the review - surely if they had carried it out properly they would have found the problems and should have promptly retracted the paper, not just added an ambiguous notice. I suppose they do have to give the author a chance to explain - but why would that take time to consider - I have no idea how the problems could be explained away.
     
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