By James Coyne in PLOS Blogs.
I was asked by a Danish journalist to examine a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for functional somatic symptoms. I had not previously given the study a close look.
I was dismayed by how highly problematic the study was in so many ways.
I doubted that the results of the study showed any benefits to the patients or have any relevance to healthcare.
I then searched and found the website for the senior author’s clinical offerings. I suspected that the study was a mere experimercial or marketing effort of the services he offered.
Overall, I think what I found hiding in plain sight has broader relevance to scrutinizing other studies claiming to evaluate the efficacy of CBT for what are primarily physical illnesses, not psychiatric disorders. Look at the other RCTs. I am confident you will find similar problems. But then there is the bigger picture…
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