Award culture and ‘realistic psychiatry’

The annual Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards are to “mark the highest level of achievement in psychiatry.” Last week Professor Andrea Cipriani won the Academic Researcher of the Year award at the 2018 Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in reporting this award stated:

However, there was no mention of the controversy that surrounded the “expert reactions” and media reporting of this antidepressant study. There was little mention that the meta-analysis was based entirely on short-term studies (average 8-12 weeks) and that only potential benefits, and not potential harms, had been considered.

On the day of publication of the study, Professor Cipriani was quoted in the Times:

This, no doubt, was the expert justification for the headline on the front-cover of the Times of the 22nd February 2018:

With nearly 1 in 5 Scots already on antidepressants, many of whom may be taking them indefinitely, it is reasonable to ask if this is “Realistic Psychiatry”?

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