OHSU professor disputes conventional wisdom on depression treatment

Erick Turner writes study contending psychotherapy not as successful as previously thought.

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An Oregon Health & Science University professor wrote a study contending psychotherapy is not as successful at treating depression as previously thought.

Erick Turner says the issue arises from “publication bias”.

“It’s widespread,” Turner said. “It’s not unique to mental health. In academia, you start out deciding what you want to do, what your hypothesis is and how to collect and analyze the data. It might take a few years, then there’s the drum roll at the end, you crunch numbers and the finding may not be statistically significant.”

A significant finding is viewed as a success. If it’s not, researchers often feel “no one will care about this,” Turner said. Sometimes researchers “torture” the data to come up with that significant result, he said.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

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