Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

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 »

The least worst option

Posted by soveda on February 20, 2009

This post was triggered by a comment about bpsd (behavioural problems and symptoms in dementia) made by The Shrink author of the Lake Cocytus blog (follow the link and read it is a great insight into life as a consultant psychiatrist). Much of what The Shrink writes echoes with me as I have had eerily similar experiences in my practice.

I made a decision when I started blogging to focus on evidence and legislation rather than clinical cases when I started and I’m not going to change that when others do the clinical blogging better than me. Having said that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) challenges presenting to the psychiatrist working with dementia and brain injury is that of so called “behavioural disturbance” and “wanderi

Edit: the rest of post appears to have disappeared into the ether, I will reinstate it if I find my musings elsewhere!

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

It’s just a little prick

Posted by soveda on January 28, 2009

[BPSDB]

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 »

It’s all in the mind surely?

Posted by soveda on January 5, 2009

[BPSDB]

I was navel gazing and having a look at which of my rants was the most read, it seems that it was the one on electrosensitivity. So lets have a talk about medically unexplained symptoms shall we? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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 »

Snoring kills, no really…

Posted by soveda on December 8, 2008

[BPSDB]

I was reading a car magazine last week and found an advert selling SnorBan With the strap-line “Snoring Driving fatigue can be fatal”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science, Churnalism | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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:

DEMENTIA

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 »