New York Times Issues Correction on RAISE Study Report

Justin Karter
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Last Tuesday, The New York Times and several other outlets (including Mad In America) reported on the highly-touted results of a study on psychosocial treatment for people with first-episode psychosis. Now, claims made about the study, which the ‘Times called “the most rigorous trial to date,” are coming under increased scrutiny.

The initial reports emphasized that the study showed that smaller doses of antipsychotic drugs were a central component of the new, more efficacious, treatment.  However, when the study was released in full, no data was reported on antipsychotic dosages.

Benedict Carey, reporting for the ‘Times, attributed claims that those in the new treatment received the lowest doses of antipsychotics possible to the study’s lead author Dr. John Kane. In the original piece, it was estimated that antipsychotic doses were reduced by 20-50%. On Friday, however, the ‘Times removed these estimates and added the following correction related to the use of antipsychotics in the study:

Correction: October 23, 2015 
An article on Tuesday about a study of the treatment of first-episode schizophrenia referred incorrectly to the conclusions of the study. Though it studied a program intended to reduce medication dosages, the researchers do not yet know for sure if dosages were lowered or by how much. Therefore, the study did not conclude “that schizophrenia patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic medication and a bigger emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery.” (The study did conclude that the alternative treatment program as a whole led to better outcomes.) 

6 COMMENTS

  1. I am seeing this more and more: reduction of dosage.

    Is psychiatry trying to say that mental diagnoses as organic brain disease is wholly valid, and that the drugs, which they prefer to call medicines or medications, are the true healing cure, and that finally, aha!, the correct solution is mastering the dosage, by lowering it, which could only mean that psychiatry has been prescribing permanently disabling, and sometimes lethal, over-dosages? Is that your admission? Are you self-correcting?

    I am certain you are still legally obligated to face Justice. Quite very. I’ll refer to Paula Caplan, and countless human beings, all across the world.

    This entire “In The News” story makes no sense. It starts,

    “Last Tuesday, The New York Times and several other outlets (including Mad In America) reported on the highly-touted results of a study on psychosocial treatment for people with first-episode psychosis.”

    Yet the correction doesn’t mention psychosis. It mentions schizophrenia,

    “An article on Tuesday about a study of the treatment of first-episode schizophrenia referred incorrectly to the conclusions of the study.”

    Then there’s this great big step back,

    “Though it studied a program intended to reduce medication dosages, the researchers do not yet know for sure if dosages were lowered or by how much.”

    What? That makes absolutely no sense. You have a program to reduce dosage, and you’re studying and researching that program, but you don’t know for sure if dosages were lowered. Why are the studiers and researches not able to produce accurate results of what they’re studying and researching? I see why the study is “coming under increased scrutiny.”

  2. If they are truly lowering doses of antipsychotics to treat schizophrenic patients, which I don’t believe for a minute, but ok, lets just say they are. Then why do I keep reading on the FDA website about these new ‘add on’ drugs to treat schizophrenia. You know, drugs recently approved to take with the existing drug/offender. What an old trick this is. The Food Industry has been doing this for years. (Lets divide salt into 3 or 4 different names to fool the public. Then it won’t show up as 100% salt.) Just so main stream psychiatry can say they’re lowering doses. P-L-E-A-S-E, how dumb do they think we are?

  3. Psychiatric dogma changes as society changes. In the US, society seems to slowly becoming what the media calls “more liberal,” and what I think most people would call…more humane, or at least more rational. In society where we’re talking about decriminalizing drugs, reducing prison sentences, and we’re even sometimes having open discussions about socioeconomic inqueality in America, it makes sense that psychiatrists would also dust off the old books about psychosocial treatment and try their hand at something a little more…humane, or at least rational.

    Oh, I think also a lot of the major psych meds are now off patent. Whenever that happens, shrinks suddenly get really honest about ill effects of the meds and the limitations of drug treatment. When the drug that goes off patent is a controlled substance, shrinks will all of a sudden open up about dependence, dosage escalation, diversion, etc.

  4. I’m working on a plan of forced re-education…..
    Can you imagine what would happen, if ALL persons in your local “mental health center” were REQUIRED to spend a few hours reading Mad In America….????….
    Talk about CME, huh!…. CME = Continuing Medical Education…