We disagree with the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group’s (CSzG) self-assessment that the problems we identified in their reviews of popular antipsychotics for schizophrenia are not serious. We encourage people to read our 2012 (1) paper where we document the problems in great detail and their likely impact on estimates of efficacy. We have not examined their impact on estimates of adverse effects, but we invite readers to do so.
We reject Professor Adam’s claim that the CSzG was not forewarned that there were serious problems with their review of cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (2). In a meeting with the CSzG Editors in 2012, one of us (Paul Hutton) called for both it and their review of risperidone (3) to be retracted, fixed and then re-issued. Despite assurances that our concerns would be followed up, we have received no correspondence since then. Both these reviews contain multiple errors which greatly undermine their negative conclusions, yet both have been allowed to continue to influence public policy and debate.
As discussed at the 2012 meeting, we believe the CSzG system for documenting and responding to constructive criticism and feedback is neither transparent nor effective. Until there is evidence of improved responsiveness, we encourage readers to submit their critical feedback to independent and peer-reviewed journals, as we have done.
Peter J Taylor
Anthony P Morrison
1. Hutton P, Morrison AP, Yung AR, Taylor PJ, French P, Dunn G. Effects of drop-out on efficacy estimates in five Cochrane reviews of popular antipsychotics for schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012;126(1):1-11.
2. Jones C, Hacker D, Cormac I, Meaden A, Irving CB. Cognitive behaviour therapy versus other psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;4:CD008712.
3. Rattehalli RD, Jayaram MB, Smith M. Risperidone versus placebo for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010(1):CD006918.