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Dr David Tuller: A Letter to KCL, Another Letter to BMJ


Senior Member
Trial By Error: A Letter to KCL, Another Letter to BMJ
By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week, I wrote about a troubling press release issued by King’s College London regarding a major study of cognitive behavioural therapy as a treatment for so-called dissociative seizures. On Friday, I sent a letter to the two communications people listed on the press release about the study, as well as to the corresponding author.

I have also written some recent posts about BMJ’s methodologically and ethically challenged pediatric study of CBT plus music therapy–here, here and here. Two weeks ago, several colleagues and I wrote a letter of concern to Professor Imti Choonara, editor-in-chief of BMJ Paediatrics Open, and Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ. We have not received a reply, so this morning I sent a follow-up nudge.

Both letters are posted below.


Subject: Awaiting response to letter of concern about CBT-music therapy paper

Dear Professor Choonara and Dr Godlee—

Two weeks ago, several colleagues and I wrote about serious methodological and ethical concerns involving a recent study in BMJ Paediatrics Open on cognitive behavioural therapy plus music therapy as a treatment for adolescents with chronic fatigue following acute EBV infection.

Since we haven’t heard back, I am following up. As we noted in our May 31st letter, the paper should be withdrawn pending a re-review and then retracted if our concerns are confirmed. Children with serious health issues—an extremely vulnerable group—deserve at least that much consideration.