589 e-Letters

published between 2017 and 2020

  • In answer to inquiry Finnish fraud to be finished

    Dear Editor,

    Tamara Tuuminen has raised concerns that the members of the research team could have had conflicting interests by their affiliations. We did not regard any affiliation to cause conflicts of interest regarding this protocol article. One member of the research group (AV) works part-time as a medical expert in Social Insurance Institute of Finland (KELA) and OP Insurance Ltd, and another (KK) in Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company. None of these institutions profits financially or non-financially from studying and publishing the methods and results of this intervention study. Moreover, as mentioned in the manuscript, neither the authors' institutions nor the funders have any authority over trial activities or preparing of the manuscript.

    By submitting a protocol paper, our intention was to make our work as transparent as possible. Indoor air associated chronic, non-specific symptoms are perpetuated and exacerbated by various factors. The RCT intervention study compares treatments to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, regardless of the mechanisms behind the symptoms.

    There is a lack of effective treatments for chronic environment-related symptoms with disability. Thus, our study represents one of the few RCT protocols for these patients. The intention of all stakeholders in Finland is to prevent and reduce disability.

    On behalf of research group,

    Sanna Selinheimo

  • Commentary on a study about retraction notices in journals of BioMed Central
    Klaas van Dijk

    Dear Editor,

    I have read with great interest this paper about retractions in journals of publisher BioMed Central (Moylan & Kowalczuk 2016). I noted an issue with the competing interests statement of the first author. I have contacted you for a copy of her ICMJE disclosure form. You responded with an invitation to submit an eletter. I present in this eletter: (i) a review of the paper, (ii) backgrounds about the...

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  • Note from the Editor

    Please note that BMJ Open has received the above response from Dr Tuuminen. In line with the guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), we are investigating the issues raised and will follow-up as deemed appropriate.

    Adrian Aldcroft
    BMJ Open

  • Finnish fraud to be finished
    Tamara Tuuminen

    Dear Editor,

    The reliability of results presented by any scientific paper as a rule is looked through the prism of conflicting interests. Those should be informed by each author of the group without exceptions. ICMJE set the internationally In the recent paper published in this journal by Selinheimo S et al. Comparing cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy and psychoeducation for non-specific symptoms associated wi...

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  • Counting the right costs of diabetes

    So far as I can see, (and apologies if I have missed something) in common with many others, the authors have failed to include the effect on GDP and taxes and welfare payments of replacement of sick workers by healthy unemployed workers and new workers entering the labour market. Similarly, if unemployed workers take jobs from those with diabetes no longer able to work, then their unemployment benefits will end and there will be a saving in welfare payments to the economy. The tax paid by those now working will offset the tax lost from those ceasing work.

    Overall, the level of GDP in developed countries is more likely to be determined by the levels of domestic demand, world trading conditions, currency exchange rates etc. than by the availability of a relatively small number of workers with diabetes, if their employment could be continued.

    Welfare payments and taxes are also conventionally treated in economics as transfer payments which have no overall effect on goods and services. If anything, additional welfare payments may benefit the economy in the short run as poorer people on benefits have a higher propensity to spend than richer tax payers. It is usually not acceptable to add direct resource costs for treatment to transfer payments.

    I suggest the authors look at this again and at least include the potential effects of worker replacement, given the current levels of unemployment in Australia. They should examine the literature on the friction c...

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  • Questions for adjusting confounding factors and definition of BAC-negative patients
    Junichi Danjo

    We read the study "Influence of alcohol use on mortality and expenditure during hospital admission: a cross-sectional study" by Y et al. with great interest and appreciate the authors' efforts. The authors demonstrated that patients with alcohol intoxication incurred significantly higher expenditure of hospitalization than those without, even after adjusting for several confounders including sex, age, and comorbidities....

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  • Re:Commentary: Symptoms in patients with takotsubo syndrome: a qualitative interview study
    Sara Wallstrom

    Dear Ms Craigie,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and response to Wallstrom, S., Ulin, K., Omerovic, E., & Ekman, I. (2016). Symptoms in patients with takotsubo syndrome: a qualitative interview study. BMJ open, 6(10), e011820. I am glad you find the article informative and useful in practice. I would, however, like to address your concerns. First, regarding sample size, richness of data and saturation...

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  • Re: Mental health associations with eczema, asthma, and hay fever in children: a cross-sectional survey
    Tarvis K. Ambrose

    This response is in relation to the above captioned article, published October 14, 2016. I must state that this was quite an insightful study. As I read the article, I began to realize with no doubt that there are physical illnesses associated with the development of mental health issues, particularly in children. I must agree with the author, that while there are no direct links to diagnose a mental illness, there are fac...

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  • Re:Patient-centered Aboriginal telehealth in Canada
    Birgit Heckemann

    We were pleased to read Mr Halavrezos' reflections on our article. Mr Halavrezos considers the number of patients treated at the German telehealth centre impressive, however, he maintains that daily monitoring could present an unnecessary burden or worse, a potential barrier to enhancing patient autonomy, particularly in patients with a stable, well controlled chronic condition. To support his claim, Mr Halavrezos quotes...

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