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2013 British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) conference abstracts

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    A bit OT, but relevant to the discussion imo:

    Looked like full text was available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23931831

    I've not read it, so wasn't sure if it was worth a new thread.
  2. Simon

    Simon

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    Another post on this from me, because I think this paper - or the non-appearance of a full paper - is very significant.

    Looks like this abstract has appeared at 4 conferences: the first 3 appear to be the most rigorous, and all basically conclude "nothing doing":
    - Clincal Methodology conf
    - 33rd Annual Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics
    - Ghent uni symposium on "Causal mediation Analysis"

    While the altogether less, er, 'technical' "2013 British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)" makes it sound like a big deal, and ignores the serious methodology issues raised in the first 3 abstracts.

    A key problem is working out cause and effect: do attitudes change because the patient had improved, or are they the cause? The presumed 'mediators' changed during the therapy but not after - but the same things is pretty-well true of the outcomes too, with almost all the gains made by 6 months. So changes in attitudes could reflect lower levels of fatigue, not vice versa. I think the IV methods in the original abstracts is trying to probe this problem - and found only very weak mediation effects.

    Also, when you only have a modest effects to look at in the first place (ignoring self-report issues), and when the 'control' improvement is bigger than the incremental gain from therapy, then mediation analysis is never likely to find very much. A partial-mediator of a smallish effect is going to be lost in the noise.

    It's pretty tough to sustain a BPS theory when your analysis of your flagship study can't find the evidence that CBT/GET changing beliefs and behaviours is responsible for any gains. Especially not when you set up the study in such a way that you should be able to find such evidence, if it was really there.
  3. Gijs

    Gijs Senior Member

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    This study suggest causality i.e. that CVS is a form of an anxiety disorder. This study is not objective and must be exluded as ''evidence bases science'.
  4. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Another issue is due to the lack of a prepublished statistical analysis plan. How long have they been trawling through different techniques to find the results they wanted.

    I did once read a psych paper (on decision making not a BPS one) where they explicitly trawled through many techniques till they found one giving significant results.
    Sam Carter likes this.
  5. Simon

    Simon

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    They haven't even post-published the statistical analysis plan, despite saying they were going to do so.

    Amazing that paper should be so explicit about it's dodgy practice, I know it has been suggested that this is a widespread but unreported research practice.

    Not sure how much trawling they did in practice on mediation; the BJK method they used initially is one of the standard ones, I think, while using IVs seems to be more sophisticated (hence its presentation at specialist conferences) - and gave a worse result.
  6. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    The statistical analysis plan has since been published:

    http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/14/1/386

    No mention of mediators, moderators, predictors (aside cost-analyses), or processes.

    So we could be in for some more post-hoc dubiousness?
    peggy-sue, Valentijn and Sean like this.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    And if all else fails, redefine your terms so that success now has a definition that includes failure.:devil:
    peggy-sue, Valentijn and biophile like this.

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