Dr David Tuller: GETSET Study Reports Null Results for Self-Help Graded Exercise–but Declares Success Anyway

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https://www.virology.ws/2021/04/06/...-graded-exercise-but-declares-success-anyway/

Trial By Error: GETSET Study Reports Null Results for Self-Help Graded Exercise–but Declares Success Anyway


6 April 2021 by David Tuller 8 Comments

By David Tuller, DrPH

The Journal of Psychosomatic Research (JSR), an influential publication. recently published an article that made a crucial point—in clinical trials, subjective outcomes are at “a greater risk of bias due to any unblinding.” The article, which I wrote about here, was authored by the journal’s current editor and two previous editors, both of whom are still on the journal’s advisory board.

The article involved whether or not a well-blinded clinical trial of homeopathy, which the journal had published years earlier, should be retracted. The details were complex and of little consequence here, beyond this: The journal’s decision not to retract the study rested on the assessment that the blinding remained robust despite one investigator’s efforts to undermine it. Given the article’s editorial provenance, it would likely be fair to assume the following passage represents the journal’s position:

“Reporting on the integrity of the blind has merit and is especially valuable when dealing with subjective outcomes for which there is a greater risk of bias due to any unblinding…Subjective outcomes are frequently used in studies that fall within this journal’s scope, at the interface of psychology and medicine. We recommend assessing the integrity of the blind for any clinical trial, particularly those utilizing subjective outcomes.” ................