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Wessely and double-blinding

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Sean, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Posting this from Wessely in a 2009 interview, because it shows that he clearly understands the importance of double-blinding subjective outcome measures and controlling for the placebo effect, and is happy to (selectively) invoke this standard when it suits him to further his psychosocial ideology.

    Original article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126997-000-mind-over-body/
    Full text: http://www.healthcare-today.co.uk/content.php?contentId=10612

    "Design: Double blind, randomised,..."
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520326

    "...a double-blind, placebo-controlled provocation study."
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18940376

    @Jonathan Edwards
    @dave30th
    @Lucibee
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  2. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1440612/

    Assuming electrosensitivity is a real thing, the sham exposure may not have been a sham exposure.
     
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  3. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Did he really say "Unfortunately some people decide to monitor their symptoms and can get trapped in vicious circles..."?

    Is anyone researching recidivism?
     
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  4. Lucibee

    Lucibee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've had it with vicious circles!
     
  5. Lucibee

    Lucibee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Err... They may have "understood" the reason for blinding, but other aspects of study design...
    So there is no way they can make this statement from what they did:
    Those with self-reported sensitivity are probably responding to something else, but they are clearly responding to something. They can't claim that it doesn't have a biological basis, because they didn't look at that. This is such poor science.
     
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  6. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The ploy same as politicians ... not finding evidence can simply mean you did not go looking for it properly, or maybe did not want to find it.
     
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  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This probably reflects his views about 'powerful placebo' - eg: double-blind is important for identifying the cause of symptoms, but questionnaire scores are a reliable measure of symptoms regardless of blinding!

    Therefore some sort of faked ritual that gets questionnaires to change shows that the real symptoms are generated by inaccurate cognitions related to the ritual.

    Personally, I've found that some people reporting 'electro-sensitivity' problems can claim to be entirely confident about some very strange and implausible views, although others just seem to have difficult symptoms and then fallen into 'electro-sensitivity' explanations as they tried out different things hoping to get better. I guess that if there was real electro-sensitivity then those people would not be discussing it with me on the internet anyway.
     
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  8. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thought I might post this here: In 1998 Wessely and colleagues wrote a review on antidepressants where they argue that many trials used inert placebo's so that patients and clinicians could guess which was the intervention and which one wasn't. They argued that such unblinding effects introduced bias that might lead to an overestimation of effect sizes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9614471
     
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