Editor for JCP’s Early Career Psychiatrists section explains how reviewing a manuscript is akin to adopting the mindset of an emergency department physician and applying the diagnostic process to each aspect of the manuscript. Dr Goldberg provides an overview of some statistical measures and types of studies. He gives examples on how to become a critical reader, further describing what constitutes a critical review and instructing how to provide helpful criticism to the author and editor.
Baclofen, a French Exception, Seriously Harms Alcohol Use Disorder Patients Without Benefit
To the Editor: Dr Andrade’s analysis of the Bacloville trial in a recent Clinical and Practical Psychopharmacology column, in which he concluded that “individualized treatment with high-dose baclofen (30-300 mg/d) may be a useful second-line approach in heavy drinkers” and that “baclofen may be particularly useful in patients with liver disease,” deserves comment.1
First, Andrade failed to recall that the first pivotal trial of baclofen, ALPADIR (NCT01738282; 320 patients, as with Bacloville), was negative (see Braillon et al2).
Second, Dr Andrade should have warned readers that Bacloville’s results are most questionable, lacking robustness. Although he cited us,3 he overlooked the evidence we provided indicating that the Bacloville article4 was published without acknowledging major changes to the initial protocol, affecting the primary outcome. Coincidentally (although as skeptics, we do not believe in coincidence), the initial statistical team was changed when data were sold to the French pharmaceutical company applying for the marketing authorization in France. As Ronald H. Coase warned, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.”