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Tutorial: The Practical Application of Longitudinal Structural Equation Mediation Models in Clinical Trials (2017) Chalder et al

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by hixxy, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. hixxy

    hixxy Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29283590
    http://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2017-57776-001.pdf
     
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  2. Adrian

    Adrian Senior Member (Voting Rights) Staff Member

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    Oh dear I think they should stay away from stats. From what I remember with the PACE mediation model they failed to model important temporal aspects. Also I seem to remember that the scales they use broke the basic assumptions of the methods.

    But mediation models as whole seem to be a bad idea trying to replace complex methods and corrections with trying to use the stats to gain an understanding of the basic system. David Freedman wrote a good article "statistics and shoe leather" with the point being:
    https://web.math.rochester.edu/people/faculty/cmlr/Advice-Files/Freedman-Shoe-Leather.pdf
    "Statistical techniques can seldom be an adequate substitute for good design, relevant data, and testing predictions against reality in a variety of situations"

    It seems like they use mediation analysis to cover for having an untestable hypothesis and bad data (subjective measures in a trial aimed at changing subjective feelings of symptoms).

    Still I may have a read as I was thinking of looking at mediation analysis for a data prediction problem.
     
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  3. Simone

    Simone Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    And now they want to teach other researchers how to do the same! :banghead:
     
  4. Obermann

    Obermann Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    For crying out loud. Is the PACE team going to teach us about Structural Equation Models? Embarrassing. Their analysis uses subjective outcomes and excludes all biomedical factors. Talk about begging the biopsychosocial question.

    Any expert in the field could explain for Goldsmith et al. that you cannot prove causality from SEMs. They can be used to test causal models and they can be used for exploratory analysis, but statistical methods alone cannot determine the direction of causality. Moreover, any SEM depends on the assumption that you have included all relevant factors. The causal inference from SEMs is only as strong as the underlying theoretical support for the model and for the choice of causal factors. Temporal analysis can in some cases resolve direction of causality, but can never solve the problem of relevant factors.

    I think that the PACE team should contemplate the meaning of scientific models, in particular the difference between causal models and black box correlational models.
     
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  5. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh look, three of my favourite authors trying to establish their credentials as statisticians. What could possibly go wrong?
     
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  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    How long can these people go on making idiots of themselves?
     
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  7. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Probably their own special kind of stats, explaining how to understand causal relationships that don't exist.
     
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  8. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You clearly enjoy fiction then.
     
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  9. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Lifetime achievement?
     
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  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    For as long as they can get away with it
     
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  11. Obermann

    Obermann Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Suggested alternative title:

    Tutorial: The Practical Guide How to Create a (Bio)psychosocial Pseudomodel for an Illness of Arbitrary Etiology
     
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  12. Trish

    Trish Moderator

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    I suspect the statistician on the PACE team needed another publication for his portfolio, or a project for a post grad student to take on, and they invented this stuff using a simulation of PACE as a pseudo data set to try it out on.

    And because they used PACE it will get more readers and therefore greater kudos than any old made up data set, and can attach the names of the PACE team to the author list to add weight and make their number games look 'useful'.
     
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