Irritating...stats, studies, blah blah blah

Iridescent - posted on 01/18/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I seem to be on a rampage lately! At least I'm feeling a little better. Anyway, tonight a friend posted a video about how HomeFirst Medical supposedly hasn't had any cases of autism, because they don't have any vaccinated children in their practice, so that must mean vaccines still cause autism. Never mind Therese Miller's autistic child, who was under their care until 2 years and sent to another clinic when he developed autism. Or any of the other children they did the same to. Never mind their lack of actual statistics. They say it, so it's true. And people believe that tripe! Ugh!

I sometimes post a study that I didn't realize was swayed, so poor statistics. It's very hard to find accurate information in the first place, and false ones make it even harder. Bulk propaganda from various countries as well is hard to sift through - I do not like being told "this is good for you, so you need it." WHY? Show me. Then I'll consider it. There are tons of examples, and every country varies.

Also, I get sick of people saying, "this is what should be done because my mom said so" or anything similar. If I wanted to hear what your mom said, I'd talk to HER, thank you very much. Old wives tales, myths, tradition, great. But I question a lot and base how I care for my kids on things that are real, fact, and trust they are getting great care for it (most of the time). Who cares if I run my child from the vehicle into the house - 10 feet - without a winter coat, hat and mittens on? The fact is, in the time it takes me to get them out of their car seats (in which they cannot legally wear those items) and put them on, with the car door wide open, I could have already been in the house with them. So I find it ridiculous. We take the winter items with, for emergencies, in the back end for every member of the family. And we put them on if it would take longer to get in the building than it would to get all seven of us in the outer clothing layer, and only then. It's my choice, and that's my reasoning. One of many such issues.

It's just grating. I'd love to see people research for themselves a bit more. I'd also love to see a guide for how to break down a study - I was carefully taught how to find them, but not how to find who funded them, etc. Usually, the control size is listed, and it also helps me decide if it's a valid study or bunk. I think a lot of people would benefit from this.

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Laura - posted on 01/21/2011

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I find that no matter what a study says you can find another one that says the opposite. Same way with doctors, if some one doesn't like what their doc says they will go find one that will tell them what they want to hear. I try not to buy into all of the studies and "facts" That's where common sense and mother's intuition come in. I just wish common sense was more common.

Renae - posted on 01/19/2011

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Oh I totally hear you on this. A stupid article on some baby website based on the PR release of some "university study" that hasn't even got the interpretation of the results right is NOT research, come on people! Most of the crap we hear in the media and on the net that calls itself research is just whichever researcher had the most money to hire the best advertising agency to promote their study so that they look good and continue to get their annual grants - regardless of whether they make any real progress or contribution! Drives me nuts.

The only way, IMO, to know what is really going on is to subscribe to a source that gives access to the actual journal articles written on the research by the author. These have the actual raw data results, research methods and interpretations. Also others in the field will critique the research, run the results for themselves and submit their findings verifying or denying the results. Read the actual results for yourself, that is the only way. But its an expensive exercise to have the subscriptions to get access to it.

Yes you should look at sample size, whether they are claiming validity and reliability (statistical terms that mean the results came out "valid" or "useable" when run through stats programs and that the results have "retest reliabiltiy" so no matter how many times you perform the test you always get the same results). Also look for detail - what were the dependent and independent variables, how where variables eliminated, how long did the study take, was it a quantitative or qualitative study (let me know if need that explained), how where the results quantified, who recorded the results etc etc. Importantly, what was the original hypothesis? In proper research, you cant change the hypothesis to match the results, you HAVE to repeat the study or its not valid.

What annoys me even more is when people listen to every stupid recommendation by the health department or WHO without even stopping to think WHY that recommendation might have been made and who it really applies to. Those organisations or departments have to make ONE recommendation for everyone, so they go with the lowest common demoninator figuring it wont harm the rest. A lot of the stuff they say has nothing to do with me or anyone I know.

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no matter how much anyone studies anything, you can never prove anything 100% its impossible. Plus everyone is bias towards a study, even the people conducting it. They distort the results without even knowing it! Thats why i love the phrase , believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see. Even if you see something with your own eyes, you have your own bias that could alter what really happened with your own perception....ahh riddle me that batman!

Minnie - posted on 01/19/2011

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I am cynical and I honestly don't believe there is a SINGLE objective study out there. Even in the peer-reviewed medical journals. Everyone's got an agenda.

Katherine - posted on 01/19/2011

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Didn't you know, Amy that what worked for others will work for you?
I hate that too. It's like, "Don't you think I've TRIED that?"
They act like it's a new revelation.
I love studies, I'm a psychology major. We studied abstracts and validity A LOT. Although it's been a while......Wakefield's study bothers me.
So many people believed him. He only did the research with 12 kids. How is that a good representation?

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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Um so true about people and the old wives tales they take to be gospel. And the studies that are underhandedly sponsored by baby product corporations. Who even knows what to believe these days.

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