Erick Turner has published an important piece in CNS Drugs entitled “Publication Bias, with a Focus on Psychiatry: Causes and Solutions.” It should be required reading for any medical student, non-medical helping professional, or practicing prescriber. Rather than being an unbiased reflection of the underlying data, the psychiatric literature is instead sort of a funhouse mirror – the published results are consistently, overwhelmingly, positive – no matter what the actual data are. The implications are enormous. Note that the methodology in such trials is often deliberately constructed to bias such trials in favor of the sponsor’s drug – even so, publication strategies are used to minimize any bad news resulting from such trials, and to maximize the impression that the drug is effective.Read More
This month the American Psychiatric Association will publish its fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This publication has been met with criticism and skepticism.As the medical director of a community mental health center, my colleagues look to me for guidance on how to approach this new edition. How many should we buy? How much time should be devoted to staff training? Although this is a book published by psychiatrists, it has become widely used as the basis for diagnosis by many clinicians.Read More
Children’s mental health matters! Right now, until Friday May 15, 2013 at 5pm EDT, you can help children by participating in the public comment process on seven pediatric antipsychotic medication use measures. The National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement (NCINQ) seeks feedback on seven proposed Antipsychotic Medication Use measures being developed for use by state and federal programs.Read More
Don’t throw the baby out with bathwater – even if it’s the baby that peed in the tub!
When we first realize that something is wrong – the water is yellow! – it’s all too easy for the next phase of chane to be a reflex reaction. Toss the water and there goes our baby. But what if we took the time to really understand the nature of the problem – and found it’s the baby that contaminated the water!Read More