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Sunflower therapy for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia), 2007, Bull

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by MSEsperanza, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. MSEsperanza

    MSEsperanza Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    (This is a reference to the discussion on bias due to a lack of blinding here.)

    Bull, L. (2007). Sunflower therapy for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia): A randomised, controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 13(1), 15–24. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2006.07.003
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17210507/

    sci-hub:
    sci-hub.se/10.1016/j.ctcp.2006.07.003

    Abstract

    The aim of the study was to determine the clinical and perceived effectiveness of the Sunflower therapy in the treatment of childhood dyslexia. The Sunflower therapy includes applied kinesiology, physical manipulation, massage, homeopathy, herbal remedies and neuro-linguistic programming.

    A multi-centred, randomised controlled trial was undertaken with 70 dyslexic children aged 6-13 years. The research study aimed to test the research hypothesis that dyslexic children 'feel better' and 'perform better' as a result of treatment by the Sunflower therapy.

    Children in the treatment group and the control group were assessed using a battery of standardised cognitive, Literacy and self-esteem tests before and after the intervention. Parents of children in the treatment group gave feedback on their experience of the Sunflower therapy. Test scores were compared using the Mann Whitney, and Wilcoxon statistical tests.

    While both groups of children improved in some of their test scores over time, there were no statistically significant improvements in cognitive or Literacy test performance associated with the treatment. However, there were statistically significant improvements in academic self-esteem, and reading self-esteem, for the treatment group.

    The majority of parents (57.13%) felt that the Sunflower therapy was effective in the treatment of learning difficulties. Further research is required to verify these findings, and should include a control group receiving a dummy treatment to exclude placebo effects.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
    Michelle, MEMarge and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  2. MSEsperanza

    MSEsperanza Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Commenary / rebuttal paper:

    Mathews, M. O., Thomas, E., & Yeung, A. (2009). Rebuttal paper to “Sunflower Therapy for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia): A randomised, controlled trial.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15(1), 44–46. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.09.006

    sci-hub.se/10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.09.006

    Summary
    [...] In her paper, Bull outlined the findings of her research study into the clinical and perceived effectiveness of the Sunflower Therapy in the treatment of childhood dyslexia. According to the results of test scores gained over a mean duration of 15.73 weeks, Bull found there to be no statistically significant improvements in cognitive or literacy test performance associated with the Sunflower treatment.

    The aim of the present rebuttal paper is to challenge Bull’s study on the following grounds: firstly, that in her paper, she failed to acknowledge particular aspects of the treatment fundamental to the therapy;secondly, that her conducting of particular tests was flawed; finally, that her paper omitted to take account of existing research studies verifying that dyslexic children do, indeed, suffer from a range of structural, biochemical and psychological imbalances.
     
  3. MSEsperanza

    MSEsperanza Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Came across when I searched something else in another thread.

    Dorothy Bishop referred to the study in a reply to
    @dave30th on Virology Blog:

    "I agree that it is important to be cautious where outcome measures are based on subjective report, as apparent improvement may not be mirrored by objective measures. This is illustrated by this example in my own field of study [...]

    "In this study the benefits were not seen on direct assessment of the child, but parents were nevertheless enthusiastic about the programme. This emphasises the complexity of evaluating interventions where subjective and objective measures of outcome may diverge."


    https://www.virology.ws/2018/06/25/trial-by-error-my-exchange-with-professor-bishop/
     
    Michelle and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  4. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My heart sank as soon as I saw the phrase ‘sunflower therapy for children’.

    Can we not ensure ethics panels just automatically deny approval for any research containing an overly twee arbitrary name or a silly acronym? The lives of so many people would be so much better if this had been the case.

    Why are people not majorly concerned when an intervention aimed at literacy, did not objectively help the literacy but is claimed to improve the underlying learning disability? Like the PACE study and like the Lightening Process research, this study ought to be the knell of the careers of those promoting it, not the launching pad of a whole new set of industries.

    [added - We decidedly need to have more researchers, commenters and practitioners who understand the problems of bias]
     
    chrisb, alktipping, Michelle and 6 others like this.
  5. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Would she say the same of alternative medicine? Because the same can be said. The only difference is belief in the magical powers of the mind, that something must work. The only reason people hold on to that belief is that although every experiment has failed to meet any primary objective, there is always arguing that it doesn't matter because it's 1) acceptable and 2) some people like it.

    Every alternative medicine out there meets those targets. In fact, evidence suggests acceptability of most alternative medicine is higher because it's sought and paid for by the user, whereas even when provided for free many reject the BPS ideology because of how obviously nonsensical it is. Just look at IAPT, it's free and even then there's, what, 10% completion rate? That doesn't suggest that it's accepted. And yet somehow it's treated entirely differently.
     
  6. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well, it does say that the author's name is Bull. Is there a second author called Shit?
     
  7. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh FFS.
     

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