Saturday, 10 April 2010

The OPUS Trials - comparing drug "treatment" to drug "treatment"

Here you can find an overview in English over the research I referred to in both yesterday's post and this one from March 16.

While you scroll down to the "Funding" section at the bottom - and I'll get back to why you might want to have a look at this section -, don't be fooled by the charts. It's the figures that count, not the bars or lines. And the figures tell us that OPUS indeed works significantly better than "treatment" as usual. Well, at least in regard to "treatment adherence", "compliance" that is, and in regard to indoctrinating parents/family - which, on its part, certainly contributes to the higher "treatment adherence" achieved in an OPUS-setting compared to "treatment" as usual. Otherwise, thus also in regard to outcomes, differences are rather insignificant.

As I suspected in my previous post, the research was only and solely designed to compare OPUS to "treatment" as usual, and thus did not follow up on people who decided to take another, potentially more promising, route to recovery, than OPUS or "treatment" as usual. While these people seem to make up a considerable amount in both groups. Almost half of the initial participants in the study did not respond to the five-year-follow-up interview. Some of them certainly because they've become wiser than to remain uncritically cheerful about the received "treatment" in the meantime.

Of course, it is very nice that the dosage of neuroleptics in an OPUS setting, presumably thanks to the massive indoctrination and rat training offered by OPUS, is kept about 20% lower than in a "treatment" as usual setting. Nevertheless, this still is no reason to get over-the-top enthusiastic about OPUS as people in "treatment" as usual settings often are senselessly overdrugged, meaning that people in OPUS settings are just a little less overdrugged, and, well, as there still is a looong way from a little less overdrugged to the barely drugged at all of alternatives like Soteria or Open Dialog.

Did you scroll down to the "Funding" section? If so, you'll maybe remember that I referred to Merete Nordentoft as the Danish Fuller Torrey. Yup, also The Stanley Medical Research Institute funded this research project. Is it any wonder that drug-free, non-medical alternatives were of no interest to the researchers, and that learning to live with a chronic illness through OPUS is hailed to be as good as it can get?...

Best buddies
(How I wish I had Photoshop!)

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