User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 17

  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    Aeon
    Enneagram
    10w so
    Socionics
    LOL
    Posts
    1,366

    Default Why Most Published (medical) Research Findings Are False

    "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False"
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/...l.pmed.0020124

    Summary

    There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.
    See also:


    "Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science"
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/...l.pmed.0050201

    "Systematic Review of the Empirical Evidence of Study Publication Bias and Outcome Reporting Bias"
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0003081

    Is anyone concerned that our current medical practises and knowledge might be distorted due to these biases?

  2. #2
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    XNFP
    Enneagram
    5w4 sx/sp
    Posts
    2,170

    Default

    The thing is the more studies are done from different angles, the more likely the bias is going to correct itself. I think it's pretty poor practise to roll out new medication based on a few studies (which are more often than not done with commercial interests in mind.)
    This is of course me shooting my mouth off before I've read the articles.
    I will read and ponder futher, but I've been reading pretty extensively on the matter, as it seems to be of great concern in the scientific community at the moment.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    Aeon
    Enneagram
    10w so
    Socionics
    LOL
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    The thing is the more studies are done from different angles, the more likely the bias is going to correct itself.
    Ideally yes. In practise, not necessarily because there are many biases as mentioned. Publication bias for example, means that negative findings (eg for antidepressants) are less likely to be published, resulting in a skewed publication record.

    But on a deeper level, each scientific discipline tends to have established dogma - those who wish to do alternative studies find it more difficult to get funding and publish their studies.
    Historians of science such as Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 1962) have pointed out a variety of biases and methodological suggestions (some of them are quite useful, such as building cumulative Bayesian models of the theory for example). But in general, scientists tend to ignore those outside their discipline.

  4. #4
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    7W6 sp/sx
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    4,797

    Default

    Ah yes, was thinking/talking about this recently (can't remember which) i have come to this conclusion myself.
    I don't believe research to be false per say but rather the results are doctored to exaggerate findings... common practise i believe. Of course some will be completely falsified, but thats harder to get away with i imagine.
    This is what i find humorous when arguing with people on fact versus anecdotal evidence.
    Cite your stats and link me to research findings...lets see where they have gone wrong.

    Of course it isn't always the case, just amusing to think of how rigidly people stick to stats... "It says so in the research stats...It is proof"
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #5
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    Aeon
    Enneagram
    10w so
    Socionics
    LOL
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    "It says so in the research stats...It is proof"
    Don't get me started on the cult of p=0.05.

  6. #6
    null Jonny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    MBTI
    FREE
    Posts
    2,485

    Default

    I don't know about you guys, but I find statistics to be one of the primary and most useful tools in research. Whether or not someone has a conflict of interest because of research funding, personal promotion, etc, and questionably "interprets" those statistics is another story. The P-value is an extremely useful part of statistical analysis.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    Aeon
    Enneagram
    10w so
    Socionics
    LOL
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I don't know about you guys, but I find statistics to be one of the primary and most useful tools in research. Whether or not someone has a conflict of interest because of research funding, personal promotion, etc, and questionably "interprets" those statistics is another story. The P-value is an extremely useful part of statistical analysis.
    p=0.05 is an arbitrary cutoff and often findings considered to be clinically useful because they met p<0.05, turn out to be false. There has even been a double blind RC homeopathy study that was published in the BMJ, which had 'statistically significant' findings for example.
    The problem in general is the models on which the statistics are based are overly simplistic.

    Secondly, the biases don't have to be explicit conflicts of interest. Biases exist even when the scientist acts ethically.
    See also the 'decline effect'. It is not all bad though, p<0.05 in a small study is still useful because it is a useful indication that more research should be done.
    But meta studies aren't necessarily much better, since they are based on studies with diverging methodology and the data can often only be treated in a superficial way.

    But in general, the misuse/misunderstanding of statistics is why 'science based medicine' is starting to take ground from 'evidence based medicine'.

  8. #8
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    ISTx
    Posts
    10,552

    Default

    What I want to know is if what today's guidelines say is considered a healthy blood pressure range is actually truly legitimate or not, because what's considered the healthy range has shifted pretty significantly over the past decade or two. I want to know if true medical research proves that what's considered healthy now is legit, or if it's a conspiracy to sell more drugs... Telling healthy people that their numbers "could be better", when in fact, they're perfectly fine.

  9. #9
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    MBTI
    Aeon
    Enneagram
    10w so
    Socionics
    LOL
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    I'm not going to answer that question specifically, but it brings up a point. Clinical results such as blood tests are not reported correctly in clinical practice.
    When a 'healthy' range is quoted, it should be based on a variety of factors, not limited to age and sex. The mean, SD of the norms should be quoted as well as mean error of the test itself.

  10. #10
    Junior Member NickNaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    8/SX
    Posts
    29

    Default

    You can generally figure the motive when you look at who funded the study (ignore this post if its already been stated). I recently read an article that discussed how ADHD medications (dextroamphetamines, methylphenidate-stimulants) in youngsters actually aren't as bad on the heart as previously thought. This study was funded by pharmaceutical giant Shire, which coincidentially produces these medications.

    Although you'd think that the ultimate motive IS public health, its unfortunate that the case is rather opposite. There is also a lot of speculative post-rationalization regarding health issues which seem to promote certain drugs to the public quite well. I am certain that a number of us can name more medications than we can flavours of chips.

Similar Threads

  1. Australians - medical research budget to be cut by 20%
    By nonsequitur in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-19-2011, 03:16 AM
  2. What if most of the Sensors here are really iNtuitives in disguise?
    By LunaLuminosity in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 02-11-2011, 02:41 PM
  3. Why do you think that you are misunderstood ?
    By Virtual ghost in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 03-08-2009, 01:41 AM
  4. Replies: 110
    Last Post: 12-11-2008, 12:20 AM
  5. Why is it unfair that you are not female/male?
    By nolla in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 11-28-2008, 04:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO