Navigation Links
Research practices must be changed to minimize fraud, deception

Ann Arbor, Mich. In 1998, a study linking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism in children appeared in a respected medical journal. For a decade, the study grabbed headlines worldwide. Worried parents rejected the life-saving vaccine for their children and those with autistic children agonized that they allowed an injection that caused the condition.

But the vaccine-autism research was a fraud. The paper was retracted 12 years later, denounced as an elaborate deception.

"The fraud in that MMR study epitomizes how fabricated research can lead to a domino effect of tragic consequences," says Vineet Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.H.M., assistant professor of Internal Medicine at U-M. "Patients fear potentially lifesaving interventions, clinicians alter practice and scientists and governments waste precious resources to evaluate researchers' claims."

Chopra expresses these concerns in a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association March 23 with Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, internal medicine and public policy at the University of Michigan Medical School and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. They call for changes throughout the research process to adjust expectations for researchers that conduct studies, the journals that publish results and the public that responds to the findings.

Chopra and Davis emphasize the critical importance of equipoisea state of genuine uncertainty on the part of the researcher as to what a study will reveal.

"In an era of increasing competition for funding and publication, researchers face mounting pressure to report the results they wish to see," says Davis. "Of course, it's natural for the public to want unequivocal advances in understanding and the latest accomplishments in medical research. But research doesn't always yield those results.

"The key is for funders, journals, the media and the public to value equipoise in the research process, rather than only the results."

In their JAMA commentary, Chopra and Davis recommend steps to reach research equipoise:

  1. Mandate the public release of all available data in connection with a study, as opposed to specific data associated with outcomes.
  2. Reduce publication bias, in which medical journals accept and publish chiefly those studies with statistically significant results. This jeopardizes consideration and dissemination of research pertaining to findings on both sides of an issue, and influences investigators before research begins.
  3. Shift the focus of public and private sponsors of research from outcome to process, affirming that study veracity is more valuable than results.
  4. Train researchers to recognize, appreciate and root out biases in their work.

"Researchers may lie about their research for personal or political gain. They make front page news when they get caught, but they represent a small part of the overall picture. A broader problem occurs when a researcher conducts a study with an answer to their question already in mind. Their certainty, rather than genuine uncertainty, influences their investigation and reporting, leading to results that may not be accurate," says Chopra.


Contact: Mary F. Masson
University of Michigan Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Gift will allow Mayo researchers to explore cause of dementia in the elderly
2. Philanthropic pledge triples funds for TGen ovarian cancer research
3. Stanford researchers discover molecular determinant of cell identity
4. Terminolgy matters in parents willingness to enroll their children in research
5. CDC, Cook County and Rush collaborate to research and prevent hospital infections
6. Researchers discover possible biomarker and therapeutic target for melanoma
7. Innovative technique gives vision researchers insight into how people recognize faces
8. Important funding for nanomedicine research to improve diagnosis and treatment
9. Treatment for alcohol dependence might work best in certain populations, research suggests
10. HIV research included in journal
11. Fragile X researcher honored by March of Dimes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... As health professionals work to improve their approach to healthcare, there is a ... filling out a survey; in many cases health professionals and patients are working together ... research on the importance of active engagement with patients and members of the public ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of ... its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his ... July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of 7® Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum ... CBD dose required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of Somekh ... law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain up ... network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel was ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, ... with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario ... Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show ... ... season this month. ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... -- Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that it ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Biologics License ... of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The ... to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab in the ... "We are disappointed by ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed sound ... ... Jim Bertolina, PhD ... Tom Tefft ... device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development teams ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: