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Coyne: Stalking a Cheshire cat (Abridged Somatization Disorder)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by jimells, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Dr Coyne's new essay isn't on ME, but it covers a very-much related topic: psychobabble research, and how bad it is. He discusses how a group of researchers (maybe not the "Wessely School", but certainly fellow travellers) have manipulated the publication process in order to obfuscate what their research on CBT for alleged psychosomatic illness actually shows.

    I'm sure most folks here are familiar with terms like "psychosomatic", "psychogenic", 'somatoform", "functional" disorders, and "somatization". But how about "Abridged Somatization Disorder"? Never heard of it? Well neither has anyone else - there are only two Pubmed abstracts that use that phrase in the title, and a handful of other abstracts that use a variation.

    According to their definition, everyone (that means you too, dear reader) has "abridged" somatoform disorder if they have a single symptom that "cannot be fully explained by a known general medical condition or the direct effects of a substance". If you are wondering why it was necessary to invent this "disease", here is the explanation straight from the horse's mouth (or backside, you decide):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083257/
    Did you see the magician's trick? There aren't enough "psychosomatic" patients to show the disease actually exists, according to the published DSM criteria, let alone try to study it. What's a poor psychobabbler to do? Fortunately our hapless researchers know all about the Fukuda "CFS" definition and how easy it is to make the patient cohort as big as you want just by making a little "adjustment' to the criteria.

    Dr Coyne explains how this sleight-of-hand guarantees that the study will show CBT "cures" this common disorder that no one has ever heard of:

    This isn't Science - it's Science Fiction
     
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  2. medfeb

    medfeb Senior Member

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    Great post, @jimelis, and great article by Coyne. Thanks for posting. Parallels the approach used with Oxford and CFS in general. Come up with a disease theory, define your definition to include patients who might meet that theory and then use that to "prove" your theory.

    What's disturbing is that DSM-5 has effectively picked up this vague diagnostic criteria in the new category Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD).

    DSM-5 says SSD is "characterized by somatic symptoms that are either very distressing or result in significant disruption of functioning, as well as excessive and disproportionate thoughts, feelings and behaviors regarding those symptoms." Only one symptom is required, there is no defined threshold for "excessive and disproportionate" and patients with medical diseases can also be diagnosed with SSD, not just those with medically unexplained diseases. Ugh
     
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  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  4. soti

    soti Senior Member

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    Just. Wow.

    I mean, it's almost as if they're admitting that women aren't studied as well so are more likely to have "unexplained symptoms"... in which case they're admitting that whether you have an "unexplained symptom" has something to do with the quality and/or quantity of research... but only for a maximum of two symptoms, if you're a woman (and none if you're a man). :bang-head:
     
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  5. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    This is very interesting. The study I quoted is from 2010, so it references DSM 4, which required more symptoms for somatisation disorder. Apparently "abridged" and "unabridged" have both been replaced with the new category, and now everybody in the world has this disease, so we're gonna need a lot more CBT!

    I have seen this sort of "make it up as you go along" criteria in a bunch of CDC studies for "CFS":

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19414619
    In this case they are using "ISF" as a contrived comparison group to "prove" that "CFS" patients have more psychiatric comorbidity than "the general population" even though "the general population" is clearly not the comparison group :jaw-drop:

    In spite of all I've learned about the politics around our illness, I still fail to truly understand how researchers can get away with making shit up, over and over.
     
  6. Bob

    Bob

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    If anyone is inclined to post any comments on James' blog, I know he likes receiving comments, and he hasn't had many for this particular blog.
     
  7. Bob

    Bob

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    @jimells, thanks for your opening post. It's a very helpful summary.
     
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  8. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    :lol::rofl::lol::rofl::lol::rofl:!!
     
  9. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland

    view the British Establishment....
    that's it in a nutshell:
    inbred (literally) incestuous (socially/mentally, cliques of asshats who went to the same universities etc), bunches of arseholes who have vested interests in preventing anything upsetting their applecart, including "facts"
     
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