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Ben Goldacre: checking if clinical trials reported what they said they would

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Simon, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Simon

    Simon

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    Hats' off to Ben Goldacre and co for COMPare: Tracking switched outcomes in clinical trials
    The COMPare Project
    Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Outcomes Monitoring Project:

    Tracking Switched Outcomes in Clinical Trials

    Retraction watch blog about it here: Did a clinical trial proceed as planned? New project finds out



    Do hope they will be looking at PACE, which changed both the primary outcomes, and the recovery definition, after the protocol was published. Simply publishing the primary and secondaary outcomes as specified in the protocol would be a big step forward in transparency.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    This looks to be prospective, so PACE would not be included. Unfortunately the recent follow-up paper was only in Lancet psychiatry. Ben might find himself in a tight corner here. Maybe we should ask one of his student friends to look at PACE: Henry, Aaron, Phil, Ioan, Eirion, do you have the true whistleblower spirit??
     
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  3. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    They could demonstrate they are willing to challenge their own institution since Oxford is involved in PACE but I doubt if they will.

    But then they are only going to write a letter to journals and the lancet know that the PACE outcomes were changed. When patients told them that they choose to ignore it and instead accuse patients of harassment. Somehow I don't think they will do the same to Goldacre. But I doubt if they will bother to try to get papers corrected.
     
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  4. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    In the list of trials they've looked at so far, some of them were published in 2010 or 2011, so I was hopeful that it would be difficult not to include the PACE trials if they've looked at others from that period. Is that not the case?
     
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  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I was confused by this but I think the 10s and 11s are Octobers and Novembers 2015 not 2010s and 2011s.
     
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  6. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Yes they are, thanks. Don't know what I thought I was looking at the first time, or when I went back and checked. Brain not working today.
     
  7. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Anybody want to set up an office pool-type or other bet on this... winnings to go to the ME charity of your choice? :p Maybe to add to the fun, the money can go to a UK ME charity if Goldacre honestly evaluates PACE or to a Norwegian, American, or Australian ME charity if he doesn't?
     
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  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    One of these days Ben Goldacre is going to have to choose between his loyalty to Simon Wessely and upholding the principles he keeps proclaiming regarding honest and transparent science. By following Wessely's lead, and refusing to look into PACE while using disparaging language for those who do, he's making a mockery of his purported mission.

    Or maybe he's just waiting for Wessely to retire and/or die of old age, so the dilemma evaporates :rolleyes:

    At any rate, I think his current behavior proves that he talks a big game, but lacks the fortitude to follow through when the going gets tough. But here's a hint: if your friend/colleague can't handle any academic disagreement from you, you're not a friend or a colleague. You're an underling who has been taught to dutifully do as you are told.
     
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  9. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Ben Goldacre not getting involved in PACE is a very peculiar situation. Normally he and his group would be all over it. At first he said on Twitter that he was busy with a book release, but since then nothing has changed. I think everyone who looks at this situation can see the conflicts of interest he has as potential reasons to want to turn a blind eye. So far, at least. The question is whether he will sucumb to that, or do the right thing. He said in the article above that he is not going away (in reference to challenging the problems outlined in the article). Well, we aren't going away either. We won't stop until the poor science of PACE is exposed and we have transparency of the data so their conclusions can be put to a fair test.

    The PACE trial is such a big study with such big problems, that failure to get onboard would damage the credibility of anyone serious about correcting bad science. So we will see, but you can't jump on the bandwagon if it's already left town.
     
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  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    Seems he was busy with looking at err... trials not reporting what they said they would. Was he busy with something not what he said he would be busy with? Tut tut. Needs a letter from Aaron or Eirion.
     
  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I think its these bloomin' 'Mericans writing dates backwards that does it. Can't be doing with it. Like the bloomin' French having quatorze 'eurs.
     
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  12. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

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    Funnily enough Goldacres's Bad Science Forum which was very pro PACE in previous years where they trashed any criticism - don't seem to want to talk about it now.

    'One' would have thought they'd be all over it?
     
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  13. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    That assumes they go after all bad science, not just information they have a personal disagreement with. I can't say that they impressed me in the past with their integrity and the whole PACE thing isn't improving my opinion of Goldacre and Bad Science.
     
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  14. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I just searched twitter for Goldacre and CFS.







    Then this from the Guardian:

    • http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...als-withheld-doctors-tamiflu#comment-30501315

      He was responding to this comment:


    Edit:

    Also just found this comment from him:

    http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/b...entioning-psychosocial-factors/#comment-17961




    I've also just started a thread on an article where Goldacre was talking about publicly shaming those who misuse science: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/doctors-have-decades-of-experience-fighting-“fake-news-”-here’s-how-they-win-feat-goldacre-quotes.50756/
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  15. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
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  16. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    And people want to think he's all about truth, facts, and scientific integrity. He made no effort whatsoever to establish the truth of the crap he's passing along Show me the evidence, Goldacre. What violence? Has anyone heard anything even slightly credible about actual violence on the part of ME advocates?

    Where has discussion been prevented? Oh, does he mean views of the disease different from his are not stifled? Is he saying that commentary that presents views different from his somehow prevents discussion because it gives a contrary perspective that might result in readers not following his thinking blindly? Does he mean people who follow his viewpoint don't want to engage in discussion that gives evidence contrary to their perspective and therefore they prefer to shut down conversation? I just don't understand where he gets this idea the we shut down discussion. If anything we're trying to open it up and they won't listen.

    Few? Really? Few? If only. We wish only a few would dare to tackle the crap psychology makes up about ME. Again Goldacre ignores the fact that there is a huge number of people involved in psychologizing ME. Are his own statements not subject to his self-proclaimed critical assessment of fact?

    He's more about criticizing ideas he doesn't agree with than about digging out the truth, despite how he tries to present himself. There's a lot more pseudo-skepticism there than true skepticism.
     
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  17. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    There's someone on that Bad Science thread going on about how, way back when, some people would round on anyone who spoke out against PACE in a nasty and concerted fashion until they shut up. Which is an interesting way of preventing discussion. But hey, maybe that person was hijacking the agenda and distorting the debate.
     
  18. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    So who, exactly, is preventing open discussion, the pro-BPS crowd or ME activists?

    Classic bully tactic -- loudly accuse the one you are abusing of committing the very abuse you are dishing out, then produce a wide-eyed, pained and innocent look while your victim sits there with his mouth hanging open in appalled astonishment.
     
  19. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    This Pemberton one is just [non-stigmatising] madness. I remember people posting examples of him being 'harassed' on twitter - it was people politely pointing out that he'd got stuff wrong and asking him for a correction. So much more politely than he deserved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  20. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Taking tweets from several years ago that are possibly out of context and say Ben Goldacre feels this or that way about me/cfs doesn't always mean the conclusions are accurate. This is just as inappropriate when others do the same to us.

    What I admire about Ben Goldacre and I have a lot of respect for him, is that he appears to not have preconceived ideas and proceeds from there. He keeps an open mind. He's a psychiatrist and works in the same department as Wessely but we don't know how much that impacts what he believes. That's guilt by association and that's a logical fallacy. I think his stance on big Pharma probably indicates his objectivity.

    There may be reasons for animosity about me/cfs being a sore point on Bad Science.. The xmrv studies were looked at with a critical eye pretty quickly when negative studies were published.They were attacked from (supposedly) ME patients. Several years ago on a thread about ME/CFS and then a similar thread about Dr. Myhill some of the responses were so inappropriate it was shocking even though these were posted by the same few people.

    But on the whole, I love the Bad Science Forum. Ben Goldacre really doesn't have much to do with the forum and in fact may not have his name on it because he doesn't have the time to give the proper attention to it.

    I think it is disingenuous to say that any researcher who is not addressing the PACE trial is against us. We are living through this and because of that we, and I include myself, we sometimes think that everyone should focus on our issues. In a perfect world but the reality is that there are so many issues in this world.. Are we against research on illnesses here simply because they are not mentioned on the forum?

    Barb

    I've often wondered if others may have preconceived notions about him because he debunks a lot of alternative medicine. Who knows?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
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