Weekend reads: Macchiarini guilty of misconduct; controversial PACE data to be released; gender bias at conferences

booksThis week at Retraction Watch featured the return of a notorious fraudster, and plagiarism of plagiarism. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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6 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Macchiarini guilty of misconduct; controversial PACE data to be released; gender bias at conferences”

  1. Thank you for covering the PACE trial again. I thought I would just provide some context for the figures newly released by the PACE trial’s researchers. They encourage readers to believe that their last-minute release of their own pre-specified primary outcomes support their old claims.

    Their new results show that 10% of those patients who received only SMC were classed as ‘overall improvers’, while 20% of those who received SMC & CBT were, and 21% of those who received SMC & GET.

    In a press release they had previously summarised their findings by stating that:

    “In 2011, the first findings from the PACE trial showed that CBT and GET benefit around 60% of patients with CFS/ME, for whom fatigue was the main symptom.”

    This was a non-blinded trial relying upon subjective self-report questionnaires to measure primary outcomes. Those receiving additional CBT and GET were told during their treatment that these treatments had been found to be effective. It was always likely that there would be problems with response bias, and poor results from the trial’s objective outcomes indicates that this was the case:


    I will resist the temptation to write more.

      1. The response I linked to cited the relevant papers for the supporting data, so rather than provide a long list of references here I thought that those interested would be able to check the references at the link. I didn’t realise some readers would be so sensitive as to find this worrying.

  2. How are the PACE results “very different”. They are less significant which is what you would expect going from a continuous to categorical outcome, but most are still significant and in the same direction.

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