Talk:Meg Patterson

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Removal of verifiable material[edit]

A User has removed the following sentence, despite it being properly referenced: She established that electro-acupuncture analgesia, usually applied to control pain post-surgery, could also significantly ameliorate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Mais oui! (talk) 12:06, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

WP:PROFRINGE. We can't state such things in Wikipedia's voice without very strong sources. Alexbrn (talk) 14:10, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Dave Marsh's biography of The Who is a bit old (well, about 35 years old), but aside from one or two howlers (like getting Keith Moon's date of birth wrong), it is the best source going for everything related to the band. I cited it extensively for The Who, Tommy (album), Who's Next and Quadrophenia, all of which are good articles, and using it here to cite that he went to the clinic is absolutely fine in my view. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 17:41, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
It's not a good source for asserting a dubious therapy is effective. Alexbrn (talk) 18:42, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
According to the sources, Townshend and Clapton never went anywhere near smack once they'd visited her - that sounds pretty effective (for them, at least). Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:44, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Testimonials are the lowest form of evidence. And Wikipedia does not imply medical effectiveness on that basis because it would be very foolish. Alexbrn (talk) 18:52, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Well if you've got a source that shows some heroin addict tried Dr Patterson's therapy and snuffed it, present it here. Actually, I think we're talking at cross-purposes, at the moment I'm just talking about sources that show notability, full stop. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:57, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
That's a reversed burden of evidence. All I'm saying is we cannot assert or imply a treatment is effective without WP:MEDRS. Alexbrn (talk) 19:09, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Extraordinary claims[edit]

An assertion like "Mainstream scientists have dismissed NET as quackery" gives a strong impression that the therapy has been subject to studies by mainstream science, and found it faulty, but the source provided does no such thing - in fact it sais quite the opposite, that mainstream science has NOT studied the phenomenon. The wording is thus misleading. The general tone of the source is one of providing anecdotal evidence in favor of the treatment; IMO using it to support calling "quackery" because of an in-passing comment largely misrepresents the article. I don't deny that the therapy might have been viewed as pseudo-science, but a much better reference will be needed to claim that in Wikipedia's voice.

The only part of the article that could remotely support this claim are two convoluted sentences ("You would be forgive n for thinking the doctor a quack. This is precidely[sic] how the medical establishment has viewed Meg Patterson's neuro-electric therapy"). This would require require WP:SYNTH to arrive to such general claim, as it only supports mentioning that some unidentified mainstream scientist have expressed an opinion that this is quackery, based on its superficial features (the weirdness of expecting electric currents "behind the ears" to heal). Definitely not proof of scientific consensus" describing this as quackery, I'm afraid. Diego (talk) 12:07, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

"This [quackery] is precisely how the medical establishment has viewed Meg Patterson's neuro-electric therapy" gives us it plain. And of course it's obvious. Using different "frequencies" of shock to cure different substance addictions, is obviously bogus. We are obliged by WP:PSCI to view this from the mainstream perspective. Alexbrn (talk) 12:11, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Ok, and where are the references that provide this mainstream perspective? We don't write articles from what is obvious, nor interprete sources to make general claims by specific assertios by its author. Instead we follow the wording of the sources as closesly as possible, which the current article as written doesn't do. Diego (talk) 12:17, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Obvious pseudoscience may be labelled as such.[1] But here we have the luxury of a source. We must paraphrase sources to avoid WP:CLOP and the source clearly states that mainstream medicine viewed NET as quackery. It's really very simple. I have posted to WP:FT/N about this. You are warned that DS applies here. Alexbrn (talk) 12:24, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I wasn't aware of that arbitration result (BTW, shouldn't that radical exception to WP:V be included at WP:BURDEN?)
Given that the source doesn't explain in any way how they come to that conclusion regarding the views of mainstream medicine, it cannot be considered a reliable source with respect to the established scientific consensus. I'm content with describing it as "what an article New Scientist said", per WP:ASSERT, though; even when I think that is not the primary focus of the source, and using it to support the claim is not given proper weight to its contents in the article. Diego (talk) 12:55, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I wasn't aware of that arbitration result (BTW, shouldn't that radical exception to WP:V be included at WP:BURDEN?) I don't think so because we don't need sources for obvious things like the earth going round the sun, or that giving different kinds of electric shock corresponds to a cure for addiction to particular substances. That's where we're at and you're editing against sense. Alexbrn (talk) 14:14, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Does it say it is the scientific consensus.Slatersteven (talk) 13:34, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Per WP:ASSERT we shouldn't attribute this, as it has the non-neutral effect of making it seem "just one opinion." It's obvious quackery and accordingly we have a source saying that's what mainstream scientists think. No need to shilly-shally: we call it what it is. I see Diego Moya has now removed[2] this from the lede in direct contravention of Wp:PSCI. We are obliged to make it prominently clear that pseudoscience is pseudoscience, not just leave it hanging. Alexbrn (talk) 14:07, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Lets make this easy, can we have three RS saying that the consensus is she is a quack?Slatersteven (talk) 15:09, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Don't think there's a source which uses the word consensus, but the New Scientist source says: "You would be forgiven for thinking the doctor a quack. // This is precisely how the medical establishment has viewed Meg Patterson's neuro-electric therapy." [my bold]. Alexbrn (talk) 15:38, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
We still need multiple RS if we are to not have to attribute this to the new Scientist.Slatersteven (talk) 16:22, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Why? It's such a niche thing we're lucky to have any serious sources on it. Alexbrn (talk) 16:33, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Because one source saying it is pseudoscience does not make it so.Slatersteven (talk) 16:35, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Sometimes no sources are necessary. It's bogus, we've a good source saying so, and we are obliged to relay that by policy. You're inventing rules. Alexbrn (talk) 16:37, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Couple of points, first ArbCom doesn't override WP:V. As much as they would like to think they do, there is nothing in the annals of Wikipedia that could or should give them that power, or even make it seem that way other than their own poor choice of wording when writing decisions.
Second, just say what the dang article says, and get over it... because that would give an encyclopedic overview. No one took it seriously. She was repeatedly turned down for funding. She finally got funding for a clinic and reported positive results (which btw New Scientist make sound vaguely positive but don't explain very well). Someone else tried to replicate those results and failed. She disputed the accuracy of the failed replication. If possible, find those original studies and cite those, as well as her published letter, in addition to the New Scientist piece. There's not really a point in arguing about it. Just find the sources and say what they say. GMGtalk 18:10, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Thumbs up Pretty much this is what needed, yes. And of course if a sentence in the article is WP:CHALLENGEd for verifiability or for not supporting what the article says, you need a better source. Diego (talk) 18:54, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
There is no reason to suppose the New Scientist is unreliable for the claims made. Sources are not unreliable just because as editor says so. I agree: let's just says what the sources say: no one took this seriously; mainstream medicine called it quackery; there is no evidence it works. Simple. Alexbrn (talk) 19:01, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I mean, you can probably use New Scientist just fine. I'm not saying they're unreliable. I'm saying that so far the source has been pretty lazily used. Write an actual section based on the story they give, rather than taking two snippets out of a two page article and trying to piece together a sentence that gives comparatively little actual information. And as I said, it would help to get the original publications also, rather than referencing someone who references someone else, because this would increase the extent to which the content is verifiable by readers. Presumably the replication study was published, and we know her response was. I assume her original study was published as well. Unfortunately I have little to no scholarly access.
Also to Alex, there isn't strictly no evidence. From what it looks like, there is just bad evidence, namely a single study with a fairly low sample size produced by its primary proponent which failed to be independently replicated. And that's pretty much what we should say. Yelling pseudoscience and calling it a day is mostly just half-assed, and doesn't really benefit our readers much as to understanding what exactly went on to establish the evidence or lack thereof. GMGtalk 19:07, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes the wording we had in the lede was "... there is no good evidence that it works" which is a fair summary. In the body we should mention the one trial that failed to establish its efficacy. Alexbrn (talk) 20:06, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
They's not one trial. There's two trials and three publications. There's the one by the originator, and there is the failed attempt at replication. Both are relevant, as is her objections, since they were good enough for the British Journal of Psychiatry to feel the need to publish as a rebuttal, and good enough for New Scientist to mention as well. If you've got more sources that fail to consider all three publications as pieces of the story, then we can do the DUEWEIGHT on it, but right now we got one, and so that's where the weight falls. GMGtalk 20:17, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
The source mentions one study. Patterson's attempt to contact her ex-patients is not really a trial is it? (was it published?). At any rate none of these things are WP:MEDRS. Just so long as we're clear in the lede and body that this stuff isn't taken seriously, we'll be neutral. Until today the article entirely lacked that view, and had instead celebrity endorsements. Alexbrn (talk) 20:28, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, there's at least three publications that at least I have access to, in order of decreasing woo: Stress Medicine, The Journal of Alterntive and Complementary Medicine, and Subtle Energies. All of these published after the New Scientist piece. And if we want to talk about strict MEDRS, the New Scientist piece is probably old enough so as to be entirely useless for either confirming or denying. Looks like we need better sources all around. Still not totally sure if her original study was publisher or not. I'm still assuming it was for there to be a replication attempt, and it would have been stupid of her not to. GMGtalk 21:02, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
We don't need a WP:MEDRS to report what the medical establishment thought, since that is not WP:Biomedical information. I don't think there was an "original study", just an attempt to contact patients to get some figures (perhaps when pressed for evidence? I don't know). Alexbrn (talk) 21:07, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
That's playing entirely too fast and loose with the policy, akin to We're not saying smoking causes cancer, we're saying most doctors believe smoking causes cancer, so it's not biomedical information. That's a trick from the woo camp, and we ain't having none of that. (We're not saying patients get better, we're saying patients feel better.)
Anyway, I asked IRC who have a lot better access than I do. The 1980 story might be from this book (also originally published in 1986), but I don't have access to it either, I just know it was published in 1986. Other than that it's dead ends all around, but if the best thing we have is a 30 year old article, we're not working with very much. GMGtalk 22:03, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Not a trick from the woo book at all: it's a matter of (uncontroversial) fact that the medical establishment rejected this stuff. We report it accordingly. Beliefs & views are not WP:Biomedical information. Alexbrn (talk) 05:23, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • As I said at WT:V, each individual subject needs to come up with a standard by which we judge whether it is "obvious" pseudoscience.
In this case, I believe the proper standard is If the totality of evidence does not support it (and thus it is not real science) and there is a person or group who nonetheless promotes it (and thus it is presented as real science) then I think we're safe. We don't cite that the sky is blue, so we shouldn't need to attribute the claim that something is pseudoscience when it is pseudoscience by definition. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:38, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
The Quackometer piece (currently linked from Further reading) says:

Can it really be true that different addictions to different sorts of drugs respond to different sorts of electrical waveforms giving you shocks? It’s a highly reductionist view of what addiction might be and smacks of pseudoscience.

Alexbrn (talk) 05:52, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Which raises the additional question of why we're linking to a blog in the further reading section. GMGtalk 09:36, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Right who wrote this blog is it RS?Slatersteven (talk) 09:49, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Quackometer - a handy source for WP:PARITY. Alexbrn (talk) 10:29, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Well te Scottish NHS do not seem to think it is pseudoscience. So yes we need more sourcing saying it is before we can.Slatersteven (talk) 09:55, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Source? There was some interest many years ago - but then again the NHS offered homeopathy so this means nothing. I'll ping WT:MED. Alexbrn (talk) 10:11, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Just in case it's useful in any way, here appears to be a fan-made bibliography. GMGtalk 10:16, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
There's also this book which references this paper and this paper (access required). So that's probably getting more in the area of MEDRS. It's a heckuva lot better than passing mention in the BBC. But they're talking about the therapy and not Patterson seemingly at all, and the abstract of the first paper seems to confuse wording, and it's not totally clear if they're talking about Patterson's treatment or a similar one. GMGtalk 10:27, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── There does appear to have been a 2012 review conducted in Scotland, NeuroElectric Therapy™ in Opiate Detoxification Fingleton and Matheson - Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, December 2012. Unfortunately it's not online, though appears to be excerpted here. Money quote: "The evidence base for the use of NET™ in opiate detoxification is generally poor. NET™ was found to be no more effective than placebo at reducing withdrawal and craving during opiate detoxification.". AIUI the device is still marketed by Patterson's son. Alexbrn (talk) 10:28, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Also "There is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of NET™ at improving drugfree

behaviour and further research of good methodological quality is required." that is not the language that would be used for an obvious pseudoscience one.Slatersteven (talk) 10:58, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

It is. "More research is needed" signs off practically all research into pseudoscience (and we're not meant to say it on WP). Alexbrn (talk) 11:23, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Really? Can we have a source that says that pseudoscience is any scientific theory that needs more study? As the materiel stands (we attribute the claim) I have no issue with, but it must be attributed.Slatersteven (talk) 11:26, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm trying to put something together. I'm almost fully alive caffeinated, but my daughter is bound to wake up any minute. Standby. GMGtalk 11:27, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Quick note. In the field of health, there have been since... forever... (and I mean the prehistoric ages) people offering various treatments for X, with motivations ranging from "trying to help" to "making money", and often mixtures of those things. It is something humans do.
Today we have a) science and b) regulatory agencies. The first allows us to understand if something is safe and effective or not, and the second prevents people from selling treatments unless they are proven to be safe and effective.
Today, when people offer services to treat diseases/conditions that haven't been proven to be safe and effective, we call that "pseudoscience" and regulatory agencies call that "illegal".
Every day people try to abuse Wikipedia to sell snake oil; some of them are "fans" and some are actually trying to make money one way or another.
And no we will not say "more research is needed" or "promising" or any of that other marketing crap that people try to shove into articles to hype things.
I am very comfortable using AE to get people topic banned who bludgeon talk pages pushing for this sort of thing. Jytdog (talk) 13:16, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Alexbrn, please stop pushing the bogus and too generic wording of "medical establishment called this quackery". The New Scientist is a medical magazine, the lowest admissible quality barely barely over the WP:MEDORG threshold; the sentence about the medical establishment is an in-passing mention and not the focus of the article.

And it is not even gramatical. If we deconstruct the two sentences like you're doing, the precedent of "this" in "This is precisely how the medical establishment has viewed Meg Patterson's neuro-electric therapy" would be "thinking the doctor is a quack", but the adjective "quack" is applied to "doctor" and the "medical establishment" is applied to "therapy". The composition of these sentences does not add up as the generic "medical establishment dismissed Patterson's therapy as "quackery"" that you wrote.

I've rewritten the Effectiveness section to something closer to what can be extracted from those two sentences. If you want to use the article to support a claim of quackery, please use a wording like that, being as close as possible to the source per WP:STICKTOSOURCES. Diego (talk) 15:16, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

That's fine. Needs to be in the lede too though, then we'd be good! Alexbrn (talk) 15:30, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

In 1980 Patterson conducted a survey, and successfully contacted 66 out of 130 former patients. She found that 53 reported being drug free.[1] In 1981, Philip Connell attempted to replicate these findings in a comparison with methadone treatment for opiate withdraw. Connell concluded that the effects of NES were "not incompatiable with a rather ineffective treatment or even simply a placebo effect." Patterson took issue with Connell's methodology, including small sample size, high rates of attrition,[a] and insufficient training for nurses providing the treatment. She published her response in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1985.[1][2]

Later studies have failed to find evidence that NES was more effective than a placebo.[3][4][5] However, NET may have influenced the dosing used by similar therapies decades later.[6] As recently as 2006, Laurence Gruer of NHS Health Scotland, suggested NET may treat withdrawal symptoms, and others such as Ken Barrie of Alcohol and Drug Studies at the University of the West of Scotland, described the research as being in an early stages, requiring additional study.[7]

Notes

  1. ^ Of the 24 participants who began the study, only four completed it.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Sattuar O (16 January 1986). "Cross currents in treating addiction". New Scientist (1491): 57. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Patterson, MA (1985). "Electrostimulation and opiate withdrawal". British Journal of Psychiatry: 146:213. PMID 3872148. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  3. ^ Platt, Jerome J. (2000). Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Harvard University Press. p. 254. ISBN 9780674001787. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  4. ^ Alling, Frederic A.; Johnson, Bruce D.; Elmoghazy, Elsayed (1990). "Cranial electrostimulation (CES) use in the detoxification of opiate-dependent patients". Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 7 (3): 173–180. doi:10.1016/0740-5472(90)90019-M. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  5. ^ Gariti, Peter; Auriacombe, Marc; Incmikoski, Ray; McLellan, A.Thomas; Patterson, Lorne; Dhopesh, Vasant; Mezochow, John; Patterson, Meg; O'Brien, Charles (1992). "A randomized double-blind study of neuroelectric therapy in opiate and cocaine detoxification". Journal of Substance Abuse. 4 (3): 299–308. doi:10.1016/0899-3289(92)90037-X. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  6. ^ Knotkova, Helena; Rasche, Dirk (Nov 15, 2014). Textbook of Neuromodulation: Principles, Methods and Clinical Applications. Springer. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Electric therapy trial for heroin". BBC News. June 16, 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2017.

I'm personally fine citing the two journal studies based on the abstracts, since we do have access to the book which references them, and who has presumably read them carefully, probably with a higher level of competence than we have, and summarized them in a secondary source. Basically, I'm citing the secondary source and giving their own citations in turn in the case that a reader is particularly interested and has access. Anyway, this attempts to cover everything in a fair amount of detail, rather than oversimplifying down to a single sentence, saying "pseudoscience" as if it was a magic word and calling it a day. And when all is said and done, there appear to be two sides to the story: people who think the case is closed and we're pretty much done here, and people who are open to additional research. However, there does not appear to be a serious and independent side anywhere claiming that the research so far represents strong empirical support for effectiveness.

Overall, she seems to have been a fairly legitimate scientist testing a new treatment approach, but one who in the end just happened to be wrong. At least two of her three objections to Connell seem like unquestionably legitimate methodological concerns about a pretty objectively weak study. Although the self-selection bias in her own survey pretty much ruins it (i.e., if I'm passed out in a crack house with a needle in my arm, I'm not very likely to respond to a survey).GMGtalk 12:34, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

We also need to get the quackery reaction in. The BBC source is not WP:MEDRS and is a bit misleading, since we know from the other NHS documents that this went no further because of lack of evidence of NET's worth. Ref 4 is primary research and can't be used for health info. Alexbrn (talk) 13:06, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
1) What NHS documents? 2) No, we're not going to take the unsourced appraisal of a 40 year old magazine article over the assessment of a 17 year old book published by Harvard. 3) Ref 4 is cited in the book, which is why its used. GMGtalk 13:11, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
No - the refs fail MEDRS and we will not say this sort of thing for content about health. Jytdog (talk) 13:12, 30 September 2017 (UTC)'
The fact is in the 1980s this was dismissed as quackery by the medical establishment. There is no source suggesting otherwise to take "precedence". This is the only record we have of the mainstream view as a whole. We don't cite primary research here, but rely on secondary sources. The NHS document is the one detailing the review for the "NHS Grampian Current Evidence, Reference and Guidance on Addictions (CERGA) group" I linked in the section above. Alexbrn (talk) 13:17, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
How exactly does Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment fail MEDRS, and how exactly is it not a record for the mainstream view, one which happens to account for the two decades of research in the interim? The idea that a referenced, Harvard published, 2000 book is somehow less reliable than an unreferenced 1986 magazine article is getting into the territory of silliness. GMGtalk 13:32, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
There is nothing in there to contradict the quackery charge: rather it reinforces it since it further confirms there is no good evidence this therapy works. By definition then, people selling it are quacks. Alexbrn (talk) 13:45, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── If the problem is with the BBC source, then that can be nixed and I won't debate it. Until the point that I posted this, no one had reverted it. So we get something like this instead:

In 1980 Patterson conducted a survey, and successfully contacted 66 out of 130 former patients. She found that 53 reported being drug free.[1] In 1981, Philip Connell attempted to replicate these findings in a comparison with methadone treatment for opiate withdraw. Connell concluded that the effects of NES were "not incompatiable with a rather ineffective treatment or even simply a placebo effect." Patterson took issue with Connell's methodology, including small sample size, high rates of attrition,[a] and insufficient training for nurses providing the treatment. She published her response in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1985.[1][2] Later studies have failed to find evidence that NES was more effective than a placebo.[3][4][5] However, NET may have influenced the dosing used by similar therapies decades later.[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Of the 24 participants who began the study, only four completed it.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Sattuar O (16 January 1986). "Cross currents in treating addiction". New Scientist (1491): 57. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Patterson, MA (1985). "Electrostimulation and opiate withdrawal". British Journal of Psychiatry: 146:213. PMID 3872148. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  3. ^ Platt, Jerome J. (2000). Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Harvard University Press. p. 254. ISBN 9780674001787. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  4. ^ Alling, Frederic A.; Johnson, Bruce D.; Elmoghazy, Elsayed (1990). "Cranial electrostimulation (CES) use in the detoxification of opiate-dependent patients". Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 7 (3): 173–180. doi:10.1016/0740-5472(90)90019-M. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  5. ^ Gariti, Peter; Auriacombe, Marc; Incmikoski, Ray; McLellan, A.Thomas; Patterson, Lorne; Dhopesh, Vasant; Mezochow, John; Patterson, Meg; O'Brien, Charles (1992). "A randomized double-blind study of neuroelectric therapy in opiate and cocaine detoxification". Journal of Substance Abuse. 4 (3): 299–308. doi:10.1016/0899-3289(92)90037-X. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  6. ^ Knotkova, Helena; Rasche, Dirk (Nov 15, 2014). Textbook of Neuromodulation: Principles, Methods and Clinical Applications. Springer. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 30 September 2017.

The thing that refutes the quackery charge is stacking up an outdated lower quality source against a more up to day higher quality one. If you want to call it quackery, and challenge Platt's characterization of the issue, you're going to have to do better than the New Scientist source. GMGtalk 13:47, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Platt has zero bearing on what the medical establishment of the 1980s thought. The proposal above is too detailed: we don't give participant numbers and so on when summarizing health research. I don't think Patteron's objections should be given any space. They are not WP:MEDRS and are just so much Mandy Rice-Davies. Alexbrn (talk) 13:57, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Why do we care about what the medical establishment in the 1980s thought?
I'm also eagerly awaiting an explanation of how WP:PARITY is somehow an excuse for blog spam, on a topic that's been covered on both sides in at least 40 or 50 books and peer reviewed publications, because I'm struggling to find an answer to that question that doesn't end up on or around intellectual laziness.
If we want to have an actual discussion about the issue then I'm all for it. If we want to ignore basic policy because it suits us, then please just let me know that's how we intend to proceed, because I have no problems opening an RfC and saving us all the trouble. GMGtalk 14:25, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
WP:PARITY is part of the WP:PAGs. It applies here since NET is a WP:FRINGE topic. The view of this as a question of "sides" is to commit the WP:GEVAL fallacy. Research can take place, yes - fringe subjects are researched all the time (there are entire journals devoted to homeopathy). But there is no good evidence this is a safe and effective therapy: there is no other "side" to that. That alone would make it just a curiosity, but the fact that NET been marketed and sold as an effective therapy makes it quackery pure and simple. There is no other "side" to that either. Alexbrn (talk) 14:58, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Alright, well, RfC it is then I guess. Should we do the section first or the blog? GMGtalk 15:05, 30 September 2017 (UTC)r
Nevermind. Let's do the blog first. That one seems pretty straight forward. GMGtalk 15:14, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I have no strong opinion of the Quackometer here - it's not needed as a source but is in "Further reading". It provides some interesting background on the intersection between religion and electrical "therapy". WP:PARITY means we use this source all over the place. If you want it outlawed entirely a higher-level RfC would be necessary. It would probably be better for you to get some general familiarity with the application of WP:FRINGE first since this source, Quackwatch etc. have been discussed before. Alexbrn (talk) 15:29, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm well aware of FRINGE. I just take fringe and politics articles in small doses, because the editing environment is exceptionally toxic. And I don't plan on arguing it at length for three weeks against folks who are going to cite policy, say exactly the opposite, and simply wait to yell discretionary sanctions. GMGtalk 15:34, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I suppose I would add that these articles ([3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) are not really about fringe topics at all, they're about anit-fringe topics, and are just examples of using an unreliable source because it happens to be convenient. DNA teleportation actually is a fringe topic, but the citation was used to support contentious information about a living person, and so I have removed it. Most of the rest are talk page links. GMGtalk 16:30, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

RfC regarding the further reading section[edit]

After reading through this discussion and the related policies many times, I have concluded that the rough consensus is that, no, the article should not include the Quackometer Blog in the further reading secion. However, many of the participants attempted to answer the question posed by the RfC as if it were asking if it should be included at all. I will attempt to summarize the points here and compare them to established policy; however, I will not call consensus as that question was not the topic of this RfC.
  1. In further readings... Further readings (MOS:FURTHER) must adhere to WP:ELNO, which prohibits Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites (negative ones included), except those written by a recognized authority. There is no WP:PARITY exception to this. While WP:ELMAYBE provides an exception, it has not been taken in this situation via consensus.
  2. In the article... This is a tough one. The main point of the supporters is that WP:PARITY applies in this case, which lessens the burden on reliable sources on articles about fringe topics; however, this only applies if a notable fringe theory is primarily described by amateurs and self-published texts. While it has been argued that it is covered in scientific sources, many of the sources have not been provided. Unfortunately, just mentioning them in a third party paper is not enough; it must be readily demonstrated as you must counter WP:PARITY with solid sources. However, WP:PARITY also states that for any viewpoint described in an article, only reliable sources should be used; Wikipedia's verifiability policy is not suspended simply because the topic is a fringe theory. This makes it clear that while scientific sources are not required to provide counter-arguments to a fringe theory, reliable sources are still required. This blog appears to be WP:RSSELF and, therefore, unreliable. Further discussion on this source is recommended at WP:RSN. Nihlus 19:42, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the article include the following in the further reading section? GMGtalk 15:31, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Oppose as proposer. The source is a blog by an apparently non-notable writer, and the further reading section is not a repository for sources we find and like, but are too unreliable to use in an article. GMGtalk 15:31, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is just a blog, by a non notable person. Just because other articles use it is not reason to keep it (just remove it from those other articles).Slatersteven (talk) 15:44, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Lean keep. WP:PARITY permits us to use lesser sources to counter fringe claims (such as the implication that this electric shock therapy helped 'cure' rockstars). Not only is this blog frequently cited on WP, but is quite influential especially in the UK, being cited by e.g. The Guardian,[8] The Telegraph,[9], and the The Independent newspapers.[10] Also in respectable magazines such as Science and Wired. It's just the kind of source we look to for balance on fringe topics which aren't taken seriously in weightier sources. That said this is only used for "Further reading" so it's hardly indispensible here. Alexbrn (talk) 15:55, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. There is a problem that pseudoscience like NET will be researched by its proponents yielding diffident conclusions like "more research is needed"; whereas mainstream scientists won't touch it because it's too fringe for serious consideration. That leads to a lack of clear statements of mainstream opinion that such "treatments" are hogwash. WP:PARITY is an important counter-balance that helps patch our system of sourcing which would otherwise lead to over-emphasis on alleged positive aspects of a fringe topic. Quackometer has some currency on the topic of fringe science (receiving sufficient notice in independent sources to establish its own notability by our standards), and I would not hesitate to use this source in the article, but if it is not used there (why not?), then it at least is worth bringing to the attention of readers who want to read further about NET. --RexxS (talk) 21:27, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support opposers are clearly not understanding that this topic is FRINGE and that WP:PARITY applies. The reason why PARITY exists is that there is no end to unproven but flogged "treatments" like that and mainstream science/medicine doesn't bother to even address most of it. There are a well-known set of science-based bloggers who do, and this is when we cite them. Jytdog (talk) 21:57, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support The use of WP:PARITY has been upheld on many pseudoscience pages, and has (to my knowledge) never failed to improve the article. There's a reason it's enshrined in policy. I'm not sure why we even need an RfC, as this is a clear-cut case. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:50, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose A "Further reading" section should be "A bulleted list of a reasonable number of publications that would help interested readers learn more about the article subject" as per MOS:FURTHER. The inclusion of this blog would not conform to this guidline. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 10:05, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
    @Cwmhiraeth: Could you explain why you think it does not conform? --Ronz (talk) 15:37, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
The subject of the article is Meg Patterson, a doctor. The therapy is not the subject of the article. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 19:01, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
The subject of the article is both the therapy and the person (in fact the therapy is more notable). Per WP:NOPAGE both topics are in the same article. This being the case, have you any other objection? Alexbrn (talk) 10:07, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - use as inline source if WP:PARITY is relevant: in that case we can use the source, but why should it be in "further reading" instead of supporting specific statements in the text? If PARITY doesn't apply, remove it completely. --Slashme (talk) 19:58, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Use as inline source if at all possible - I have a problem with Further reading sections in general. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:11, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If the source is reliable enough to cite, it should be cited. Otherwise it should be ignored. Sneaking an unreliable source into the article as "further reading" is something we would not allow if done by a quack, and we shouldn't do it ourselves. Maproom (talk) 07:36, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not a reliable source. Attic Salt (talk) 12:48, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

We do our readers no favours if we do not state clearly that there is no evidence of this fringe notion having any chance of being effective. You only have to look at the comments to the Quackometer op-ed piece about NET. Check the one by "Al" which states:

I am at my wits end trying to help my daughter with drug and alchol addiction. She has been through several traditional drug rehab programs without success. Please help

When there are parents as desperate as that, it's no wonder that the perpetrators of these sort of "cures" will expend any amount of effort to market their product. We ought not let our encyclopedia be used for that sort of marketing, no matter how indirectly. --RexxS (talk) 21:35, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
RexxS, mainstream science has actually touched it quite a bit (e.g., [11] p. 254, [12], [13]), which is exactly why we shouldn't be resorting to blogs. GMGtalk 21:41, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly, main stream science (and even medical bodies) have covered this. If main stream scientific papers and medical bodies do not call it quackery we should not be linking to any old blog that does claiming parity as a justification (which is precisely the opposite of the situation parity was created to deal with).Slatersteven (talk) 22:49, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) None of those sources say anything about mainstream scientific opinion: "For none of these ... have promising findings been observed."; "There was no significant difference between the active or placebo groups, suggesting that placebo was as effective as active NET in reducing drug withdrawal or craving during cocaine and opiate detoxification." (a single primary study comparing NET with placebo); "Indeed, this study raises more questions than it answers. Certainly electrostimulation does not seem to fulfil the promises made on its behalf as an improved technique for withdrawing opiate addicts from their drugs." (a single primary study comparing NET with progressive methadone withdrawal). I'm sorry, but that's just evidence that there's no evidence of effectiveness for NET. We need to put that into the context of mainstream opinion and for that we need sources that actually offer an opinion, which Quackometer does. The latter two wouldn't be usable in the article to address the question of effectiveness of NET, but Quackometer does at least speak to the question of how NET is perceived and the scientific context by which one might approach the WP:REDFLAG-remarkable notion of passing electric current through drug users to overcome addiction. --RexxS (talk) 22:57, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
If... you don't think a Harvard published book on addiction says anything about mainstream scientific opinion, and you would prefer a blog, then we... just live in different worlds. I don't hope to visit yours ever, but I hope you visit mine soon. GMGtalk 23:39, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I may be mistaken, so please correct me if needed, but that "Harvard published book" says almost nothing.
The blog is lower quality than I'd like. However, it goes into detail that we have nowhere else currently. Again, I could be mistaken... --Ronz (talk) 03:45, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
The "Harvard published book" just offers a summary of the research that had been done to date, without offering much by way of analysis. It's not a tremendously useful source. Alexbrn (talk) 04:58, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
detail that we have nowhere else currently - And detail we have no good reason to believe is accurate, because it has no references and no editorial oversight... because it's a blog. It's not even an op-ed piece (and no idea why it's referred to above as one), which would require someone, somewhere, who actually publishes something for a living, to at least read the thing over once and suppose that it didn't contain glaring inaccuracies or omissions. It's written by a non-notable person with presumably no education or academic background that would qualify them to write on these subjects, since they explicitly refuse to address their qualification because they don't want to offer chances for my critics to start fights ([14]). It's not affiliated with any organization that would lead us to suppose this guy might get sacked if he did a crappy job. It's a guy with a laptop and and internet connection, or in other words, a blog.
The mainstream scientific opinion is that there is no evidence it's effective, full stop. Adding some dude to that doesn't add to the mainstream scientific opinion; it just adds some dude's opinion. It doesn't benefit our readers any to say "please don't get your medical information from Wikipedia. Instead, please get it from some dude." GMGtalk 10:58, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
The mainstream scientific opinion is that there is no evidence it's effective, full stop. That's where the disagreement lies. Stopping there excludes information on why the science failed, what biases come into play, and the larger context. --Ronz (talk) 15:43, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
MOS:FURTHER is subject to WP:ELNO, which prohibits nearly all blogs. WP:PARITY requires a fringe theory that is primarily described by amateurs and self-published texts, which this is not. This is covered extensively in peer reviewed literature in reputable journals, which are themselves covered in published books. If context is needed, then it can be provided without needing blogs by unqualified commentators who are themselves admittedly getting their own information from sites like this one. GMGtalk 16:59, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
This is covered extensively in peer reviewed literature in reputable journals While I may be mistaken, I'm not seeing any evidence that this is correct. Nor is there any other coverage that I'm seeing on why the science failed, what biases come into play, and the larger context. --Ronz (talk) 16:10, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Well, in this citation, an extensive summary for which is already being used in the article, but which no one seems to be able to actually access the full text for so far, the authors identified forty publications in two databases, which they narrowed down to four for their literature review. They concluded that The evidence base for the use of NET in opiate detoxification is generally poor. NET was found to be no more effective than placebo at reducing withdrawal and craving during opiate detoxification. Further, they concluded that the longer term studies that reported positive outcomes were sufficiently methodologically weak so as to be essentially useless, with pretty crap follow up, and either a basically meaningless control group, or no control group at all. This included not only Patterson's own research, but also the exact paper by Gossop et al cited in the New Scientist piece.
When we have enough peer reviewed literature to do a peer reviewed literature review, we are not in a situation where the subject is primarily described by amateurs and self-published texts, or only reliably and verifiably reported on, or criticized, in alternative venues, which is what PARITY is designed to allow for. GMGtalk 17:03, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
That's simply not, covered extensively in peer reviewed literature. --Ronz (talk) 17:23, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
For a fringe theory, that's not half bad. And the standard of PARITY is not "extensively covered" in peer review, but "only covered" in unreliable sources. GMGtalk 17:34, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Assuming good faith, I'll take that to mean you're apologizing for the "exaggeration". Thank you. --Ronz (talk) 23:09, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
I think we have different opinions of what "extensive" means. Knowing to start that she was published from the NS piece, I expected to find research in the 80s and 90s. I was surprised to find research in the past five years, and I still think that when we have coverage in books and literature reviews, we ought not be using blogs. GMGtalk 23:56, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: You're right. I don't think that the Harvard-published book you're so keen on says anything at all about mainstream scientific opinion on NET. I do think that the blog says something about mainstream scientific opinion on NET. You prefer a source that doesn't address the issue at all to one that does. You're welcome to the world you're living in. I won't be visiting anytime soon.
WP:ELNO: "one should generally avoid providing external links to: 11. Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites (negative ones included), except those written by a recognized authority. (This exception for blogs, etc., controlled by recognized authorities is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities who are individuals always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for people.") Alexbrn has already demonstrated that Quackometer has had coverage in multiple independent, reliable sources so we've a good case for it meeting WP:GNG. The exception is valid, especially in light of WP:ELMAYBE: "Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." There's no doubt that the Quackometer article about NET contains an analysis of sources concerning NET in the light of current scientific opinion, which is exactly what we want our secondary sources to do. WP:PARITY has consensus for a reason: it covers a gap that would otherwise exist when dealing with sources for fringe topics. --RexxS (talk) 17:19, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Passing mention. Passing mention. Passing mention. I also once received passing mention in the media. That doesn't make the person a recognized expert, and it doesn't amount to GNG. PARITY is for cases where there isn't coverage in reliable sources; not for cases where we just prefer coverage in garbage sources, or for cases where reliable sources (with those pesky publishers, and peer reviewers) happen to write like actual recognized experts. PARITY does not mean If coverage in RS isn't flashy enough, go write a blog and link to that from Wikipedia instead. GMGtalk 17:35, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Ultimately Wikipedia is a reality-based project, and reality will out from whatever sources are necessary. WP:Lunatic Charlatans and all that. That's why WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE are as they are. Frankly I'm amazing some editors seem to be tying themselves in knots to try and bolster what is, and the end of the day, a load of fucking woo. Alexbrn (talk) 17:43, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
As I said, the blog is of lower quality than I'd like. It's used 74 times within Wikipedia, many more times in discussions rather than in articles themselves. This may be the more detailed discussion there has been about the blog. --Ronz (talk) 17:52, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
And we're not even "using" the blog other than as an EL. Yet an RfC and reams of comments about it. Alexbrn (talk) 17:56, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, and I'm equally amazed that editors who should know better want to defend ten cent blogs because those darn books and scholarly papers are just so darned boring, and what we really need is something with short sentences, flashy graphics and no editorial oversight to spice things up. Wikipedia is not a reality based project; it's a source based project. PARITY doesn't apply if there are plenty of RS available, and if you think it does then you need to read it again. GMGtalk 17:57, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
No one has any doubt about your perspective here. There is an RfC running. Let it run. To others, I encourage you to stop responding here, as it is doing no one any good, particularly not GMG. Jytdog (talk) 18:19, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Oh it could be a good deal worse. Considering we starting with Arbcom told me I don't need sources at all. I'd say moving from that to Blogs are a reliable source. is actually quite a bit of improvement. GMGtalk 18:38, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Please stop misrepresenting other people. I remind you again of the DS; which are meant to call for best behavior. Jytdog (talk) 19:29, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
That's not a misrepresentation at all. That is literally the argument that brought me here to begin with. AE is not an excuse to fail to make an impassioned argument. You in turn should not confuse making an impassioned argument with personal attacks, and confuse citing DS with actually making any substantive argument to begin with. I happen to notice no one has actually addressed my point about PARITY not applying, because there is a multitude of RS available. Perhaps you could do that instead of telling me to keep down, unless you intend for PARITY to give carte blanche for anyone who wants to write a blog and stick it on an article because they can't be bothered with RS. This has already been a horrid time sink, but I suppose at this point I'm committed. If I didn't think this had potentially project wide implications, then I wouldn't be here. GMGtalk 22:22, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I warned you, you will do as you will. Jytdog (talk) 23:12, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
And your patronizing is duly noted. GMGtalk 23:47, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: If there are a multitude of reliable sources that describe the mainstream scientific opinion on NET, then you could save all this debate by listing some of them here. The only reason why PARITY is invoked is that no such reliable sources have been indicated so far. Nobody here wants to resort to lower quality evidence without good reason, but a blog that has received coverage in multiple reliable sources – and has some reputation – is going to be better than a site that nobody has heard of and has received no acknowledgement at all. PARITY allows us the leeway to resort to the best that we can find (in the absence of more reliable sources) that actually address issues like mainstream opinion with respect to fringe topics. "Parity of sources may mean that certain fringe theories are only reliably and verifiably reported on, or criticized, in alternative venues from those that are typically considered reliable sources for scientific topics on Wikipedia." In addition, the lack of mainstream criticism may, in itself, be taken as justification to entirely remove the fringe claims made by Patterson. "Fringe views, products, or the organizations who promote them, may be mentioned in the text of other articles only if independent reliable sources connect the topics in a serious and prominent way. However, meeting this standard indicates only that the idea may be discussed in other articles, not that it must be discussed in a specific article. If mentioning a fringe theory in another article gives undue weight to the fringe theory, discussion of the fringe theory may be limited, or even omitted altogether." (WP:ONEWAY) As a content guideline, WP:FRINGE enjoys site-wide consensus and you need stronger arguments than those you've mustered so far to disqualify its application here. --RexxS (talk) 16:20, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── As already explained above, the 2012 literature review already cited in the article identified 40 publications in two databases. The Journal of substance abuse treatment, Journal of substance abuse, British Journal of Psychiatry, Nursing times, Bulletin on narcotics, and British journal of addiction are not "alternative venues", and a topic which has been covered in all of them is not one that is only reliably and verifiably reported on, or criticized, in alternative venues. GMGtalk 16:35, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

It's generally only been criticized in places which fall outside our normal sourcing standards, so yes WP:PARITY applies. Evidence-based medicine (in)famously is blind to common sense. Alexbrn (talk) 17:00, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
Then I suggest you go find consensus for changing the wording for PARITY. Maybe you can reach a widespread agreement to switch only reliably and verifiably reported on, or criticized, in alternative venues to only reliably and verifiably reported on, or criticized, in peer reviewed publications, literature reviews, and books. GMGtalk 17:10, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
No, it's fine: NET is only properly criticized in alternative venues (though the 1995 review linked in the sectrion below says Patterson was deluded), so we must use them. All's good: We follow the WP:PAGs. Alexbrn (talk) 17:16, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
So, reread that comment, and see if you can spot where you contradict yourself. GMGtalk 17:25, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
Nope, it's fine. Luckily WP:CLUEfulness will out, hopefully, with the RfC. Alexbrn (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Revisions today[edit]

This article said surprising little about the person. The WEIGHT was all on the celebrities she treated and the technique. I have revised this to make the article focus on her. I moved the stuff about the technique into a note. The discussion of whether NET is useful to treat addiction should really be in the electroacupuncture article. Jytdog (talk) 03:32, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

Nice work. Electroacupuncture could use a lot of work. This is 1972 we're talking about. The woo was strong, and evidence-based medicine was just taking root as a concept that would require more than a decade to begin having much impact. Patterson was in the right place at the right time. --Ronz (talk) 03:54, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Is it electroacupuncture? I believe Patterson used electrodes rather than needles which would make this - what? A kind of Cranial electrotherapy stimulation? Alexbrn (talk) 04:53, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
no she replaced needles with electrodes. Jytdog (talk) 05:53, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
She didn't do electrical acupuncture, and in fact, explicitly said she didn't. GMGtalk 10:27, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Overall, I'm fine with the rewrite, and it's probably a more elegant solution than what I was proposing. Although, I'm increasingly uncomfortable using New Scientist as a source at all, since the more I dig into it, the more errors I find. For example:
  1. The study wasn't actually by Connell. Connell was fourth co-author, and the lead author was Gossop, who isn't even mentioned.
  2. There wasn't four out of 24 who completed the study. There were four out of 12 ES patients who completed it, and four out of 12 methadone patients. So it's either eight out of 24, or four out of 12, but in no way four out of 24.
  3. The study wasn't completed in 1981. It was started in 1981, completed in 1982, and published in 1984.
So... yeah. Overall it's just sloppy, in addition to being old as dirt. GMGtalk 11:24, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
In the biomedical literature, the last-listed author is the senior author and PI; in this case Connell was director of the center that ran the study. It is entirely appropriate to name him. And the New Scientist paper doesn't say "completed" it says "carried out" in 1981, and seeing how the primary source says the study started in 1981 that is not entirely unreasonable. Jytdog (talk) 17:46, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I've crossed my psychology and psychiatry. The attrition rate is still a pretty glaring error. GMGtalk 18:25, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes the four should have been an 8. A typo. We are not citing the New Scientist for that, but for the sense of the medico-scientific community, and it is good for that. Jytdog (talk) 23:52, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Is that why you're citing them?. GMGtalk 00:13, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
With FRINGE stuff like this, we cannot follow MEDRS as there are no MEDRS refs. We are stretching into PARITY in a bunch of ways. You have turned this part into further unconstructive discussion so I will not be responding here further, either. Jytdog (talk) 00:34, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
So... We can't cite the newer peer reviewed studies because they're not MEDRS. And we can't cite the newer books who cite the peer reviewed studies because they're not comprehensive enough. And so we're going to cite the 40 year old admittedly inaccurate magazine article because "we cannot follow MEDRS". And I am specifically going to ping you to this comment, because if you do not respond I'm going to assume WP:SILENCE, and remove it. GMGtalk 01:22, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm having trouble seeing such an assumption would be in good faith in order to improve this article. --Ronz (talk) 01:33, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
As a general rule, when we take old, outdated, and inaccurate sources, and replace them with newer more reliable ones, that is considered an improvement. GMGtalk
Please propose a concrete change. To the actual article. About Meg Patterson. Jytdog (talk) 02:18, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Sure, the NS source is very nearly garbage and should be removed outright, or replaced using high quality sources which cite high quality research for a medical claim. We're not using the New Scientist source because it's the best source available; it's an exceptionally poor quality source that we're using because it happens to say the word "quack". GMGtalk 10:48, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
The NS source is fine for its use, and no amount of invented faults is going to change that. To have arrived at a point where the New Scientist is called "exceptionally poor quality" is to have arrived at a point where serious debate has stopped. We need to point out that quackery is quackery, because of policy. Alexbrn (talk) 10:55, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Well, if you find yourself getting frustrated, consider looking for a source that meets MEDRS, rather than defending one that doesn't. GMGtalk 14:19, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Once again, WP:MEDRS applies to WP:Biomedical information. Whether something is quackery is not biomedical information (whether it works or not, is). The categorization of something as quackery is more in the realm of consumer protection and ethics. We know (from WP:MEDRS) this device doesn't work, therefore selling it is by definition quackery and it is not surprising this is given as the view of the medical establishment (even MP's son writes than she was opposed by the medical establishment). Any old source can support obvious facts. Luckily we have a pretty good one. Alexbrn (talk) 14:34, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
MEDRS also applies to Information that is not typically biomedical ... if the context may lead the reader to draw a conclusion about biomedical information. And you should be careful that bending over backward too far can lead to back injuries. GMGtalk 17:40, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
And since the quackery charge is in nice alignment with the biomedical assessment (i.e. NET does not work), we're golden. You should be careful about not misbehaving to the extent you get blocked or banned. My advice is WP:FOC. Alexbrn (talk) 17:46, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
If it was a sanction-able offense to point out when someone's argument reached the point of inanity, I would have been blocked a long time ago. Saying that calling someone a quack is not a statement about the effectiveness of their treatment is approaching the point of giving up on words having meaning. GMGtalk 17:59, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
The thing you are not dealing with GNG, is that the Patterson were selling NET to people who wanted treatment, and there was (and still is) no good evidence that it worked/works. That is what makes this "quackery". We would be having a different conversation if they were just doing research and talking about what they were finding. There are researchers who oversell their research, but that is an entirely different matter from people selling medical services. That is why you are meeting brick walls here, and why you will continue meeting them, and why if you keep battering this talking page promoting what is essentially snake oil, I will bring you to AE under the alt med DS. I am gathering diffs already; please take this seriously and re-think the approach you are taking here so I and others talking with you don't have to take up yet more time. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 18:40, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
promoting what is essentially snake oil I've not said anything remotely akin to promotion. That that is the assumption is probably a good indicator of why the discussion has gone exactly nowhere, and why editors are willing to flatly ignore policy. GMGtalk 19:25, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
You are the only person who doesn't see what you are doing; if I need to bring a case at AE, the diffs will make it clear to observers there as well. You can hear this, or not. As you will. Jytdog (talk) 19:45, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Well, apparently I'm failing to convince someone who assumed bad faith from the beginning. Which is fine. We can look to see if a month from now an RfC is worth the trouble. That's the kind of thing RfCs are designed for. GMGtalk 20:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Getting back on topic, I'm now not sure whether NET is best characterized as Cranial electrotherapy stimulation since PMID 23954780 seems to categorize it as Transcranial alternating current stimulation (now there's a poor article). Alexbrn (talk) 11:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. The TACS article was all primary sources; I have redirected it to the Cranial electrotherapy stimulation article which is our main article for the alternating current kind, contrasted with Transcranial direct-current stimulation. Jytdog (talk) 15:27, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

1995 Review[edit]

Thanks to Ozzie10aaaa at WT:MED who unearthed a 1995 review, PMID 8679022. This doesn't add much to what we already know. The first trial found NET ineffective, Patterson claimed it had been improperly done and set up a second trial in the USA, but this too found NET ineffective. The author of the review author comments pointedly

All of us in the healing business are prone to 'the fundamental therapeutic delusion which is the natural tendency of those involved in therapeutic activity to believe that what they do is useful. People simply do not like to admit to themselves that what they do may have no value or may be actually harmful ... enthusiasts may perceive benefit where none really exists and turn a blind eye to side effects ... '

and

It is important to remember that most 'alternative' practitioners who use techniques like acupuncture, NET, aromatherapy or reflexology, do not usually offer other types of treatment. They personify Mark Twain's dictum that if your only tool is a hammer, all your problems tend to look like nails.

I think NET is a notable topic that deserves reasonable coverage, but per WP:NOPAGE can be spliced in here, without requiring a standalone article. Alexbrn (talk) 08:32, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

agree--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 10:18, 3 October 2017 (UTC)