Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Posts Tagged ‘media’

Is it ethical to lie to patients?

Posted by soveda on October 8, 2009

I ask this question because a number of people have spoken to me about SPECAL care (Specialised early care in alzheimer’s… erm… care- it’s like PIN number). Back in August 2008 there was this article in the Guardian by media psychologist Oliver James. Author of this book: Contented Dementia, which discusses SPECAL and he thinks it is great.

Hang on a mo, have a look at the 4th paragraph:

“There is a desperate need for an alternative form of care. Believe it or not, my mother-in-law has discovered it. I must be the only man in Britain who would like my mother-in-law to look after me if I had dementia. She is called Penny Garner and her method enables family members or professional carers to deliver 24-hour wellbeing to people with dementias. Amazingly, we are still on good terms after spending a year producing a book that now makes her method available to everyone.”

The interesting article he wrote in August 2009 has been commented on by the mental nurse blog which is well worth a read, I have tracked down a copy of the RCN report on SPECAL so I thought I’d blog a bit on the evidence base.

Now read on:

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The BBC being accurate again

Posted by soveda on April 25, 2009

I know I haven’t been terribly active in blogging recently but this story on the BBC website raised an eyebrow. The story in question is about a crop of daffodils being grown in Wales as a source of Galantamine crystals.
For the uninitiated, Galantamine is an Acetlycholinesterase inhibitor, one of the medications used in Alzheimer’s, more specifically it is one of the three medications that doctors in the UK are allowed to prescribe. It says it right in the NICE guidelines, not according to the BBC’s reporting though. Apparently it is only available in Scotland and then only privately…
I’ve blogged repeatedly about the quality of facts on the Beeb and I will again, hopefully by the time you read this the article will be accurate but I’m not holding my breath.

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s just a little prick

Posted by soveda on January 28, 2009


But does it do any good?

I’m referring to acupuncture which is being puffed, sorry reported on, by the BBC again today in this article.

Confusion you say, now what confusion would that be I wonder? Nothing to do with the media portrayal of previous studies surely. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, bad science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

But she’s a professor!

Posted by soveda on December 19, 2008

Thanks to Ben Goldacre’s mini blog I came accross this story. It’s a worrying story for me in several ways, the diagnosis by letter being one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Are you lonesome tonight?

Posted by soveda on December 2, 2008


Well, if you live in Edinburgh you are likely to be according to this you are more likely to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Not smoking can kill

Posted by soveda on November 26, 2008

Another day, another bit of advertising billed as reporting on the BBC website.

To be fair they do aknowledge that this is linked to a programme being broadcast on the 26th November (Today).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Itz just a little drinkie

Posted by soveda on November 22, 2008

Browsing the BBC website today I came across this article, which states that drinkers lie about how much they drink.

Goodness me, I am surprised, only 2 out of 5 people lie about their drinking. I thought the rule of thumb was:

Double what the individual says they are drinking and halve what their relatives say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Churnalism | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Is madness all in the mind?

Posted by soveda on November 18, 2008

I’ve been banging on about mental illness and stigma on this blog for a few posts and I’m sure it it getting very dull for people but I’ll go on and on anyway.

I was just pondering the rationalle behind the programe “Horizon: How mad are you”. I read on the BBC website that is was all about showing people that you can’t see who has a mental illness just by looking at them. Now I have no problem with that concept, I just have a sneaking suspicion that there are better ways of doing that than a glorified reality TV gameshow.

Cards on the table, I tried to watch the programme but I just couldn’t get past the awful Big Brother style opening and portentous music. So I can’t comment on the programme itself, I heard “all in the mind” today where they interviewed one of the “expert panel” and he implied that he was not as happy with the content of the programme as he could have been.

So is this sort of programme educational or exploitative?

(I understand that the individuals with a mental health diagnosis were for the most part in remission/fully treated at the time of the programme, surely this means that they were not “mad at the time?)

For a more measured post have a read of JDCs blog, and while you’re there read all the other posts, there is quite some thinking going on.

Posted in mental health | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

It’s just part of getting old isn’t it?

Posted by soveda on October 28, 2008

Memory loss that is, but here is a scary word for you:


Are you scared yet? I am and this is why: Stigma

But what is dementia and why are we frightened, why am I talking about this now. Well, there have been a few news stories recently about treatments and I was interested in looking at why they were reported in the way they were.

First some background,  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, mental health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The biology of crime

Posted by soveda on October 7, 2008

Before I start I have to thank jdc, Ben Goldacre’s mini blog on the site and Cynical OT from the Bad Science forum for pointing this article out to me.

I’m starting to think I should add “bad media” to my byline…

The link in the mini blog is to the ITV news report on a study examining the cortisol response of the body to stress in adolescent males with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (F91.3). The report has been described as flaky, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, bad science | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »