By David Tuller, DrPH
In teaching courses on covering public health and medical issues, I have often highlighted how university press releases about studies can read like efforts at obfuscating problematic findings rather than providing an accurate account of research. A recent press release from King’s College London, about a high-profile study published by Lancet Psychiatry, is an excellent example of this problematic genre.
I plan to write more about the study—“Cognitive behavioural therapy for adults with dissociative seizures (CODES): a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial”—when I get a chance. This post focuses on some discrepancies between the KCL press release and the study itself.
On June 3, Kings College London posted a press release touting a major study of cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of what have long been called psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) but are now sometimes referred to as dissociative seizures (DS). The press release bore the following headline: “Cognitive behavioural therapy reduces the impact of dissociative seizures.”
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