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slawson83
06-09-2010, 01:35 AM
Tom and Chris as ever raise important points:

1) That we are becoming pervasive, and are going to eventually court (good and bad) press.
2) That there is nothing, other than the sensationalist style, to imply that anything too serious has occurred here.
Indeed it appears that there is an "error" checking system in place, that has done what it was supposed to do.

It is not clear from the report whether "no clinical impact and in fact the surgeons did not in any way get affected in their decision making" is due to the minor nature of the errors or a slightly more traditional communication problem that is part of a different discussion. In general though, I hope that somebody reading this down under who is or can become familiar with the facts and can make themselves available for press comment on this story before it generates unwarranted bad PR.

Sian

Dr. Sian E. M. Lawson
William Leech Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering
Bioengineering Research Group
School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering
Newcastle University, U.K.
Direct: +44 (0)191 222 8224
Fax: +44 (0)191 222 8600


> -----Original Message-----
> From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
> [mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Greiner Thomas
> Sent: 09 June 2010 15:30
> To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL
> Subject: Re: [BIOMCH-L] Faulty gait data in the news
>
>
> I suppose that when Chris Kirtley wrote "I guess this had to
> happen at some time" he meant that our discipline has grown
> to the point where it is gaining all types of press. Still, I
> am made uncomfortable by this news item. Not so because
> "errors were made by a gait lab" that were not reported to
> patients and surgeons (as the linked article states), but
> because the "errors" are never described. What we have here
> is sensationalist journalism. Perhaps the gait lab at the
> University of New South Wales is at fault, but we cannot know
> that from the information presented in this "news" report.
>
> What type of errors were reported? What constitutes an error?
> Who judged that the data collection was faulty?
>
> Standards in biomechanics have often been proposed (see the
> ISB standards) and are frequently, dare I say universally,
> ignored. Who among us follows ISB standards (or some other
> standard) to the letter? When we depart from the standard it
> does not mean that we have committed an "error," but rather
> that the data collection situation required modifications
> that the standard could not anticipate or that experience
> tells us that a different data collection method works better.
>
> None of these are "errors" but they will all result in
> different answers during data collection. So, I have to ask,
> what makes the Sydney Children's Hospital CEO believe that
> the University of New South Wales committed errors? This
> question is especially important since, as the report states
> "no adverse consequences of any kind were identified."
>
> This style of reporting contains all the characteristics of a
> witch hunt. As a scientific community, let's be real careful
> before we start to cast stones.
>
> Thomas M. Greiner, Ph.D.
> Anatomist and Physical Anthropologist
> Dept. of Health Professions
> University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
> 1725 State Street
> La Crosse, WI 54601 USA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
> [mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Chris Kirtley
> Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 10:09 PM
> To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL
> Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Faulty gait data in the news
>
> Dear Biomechers,
>
> I guess this had to happen at some time. As far as I know
> it's the first time gait data has been questioned in this way?
>
> http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/09/2922273.htm
>
> Chris
>
> Dr. Chris Kirtley MB ChB, PhD
> Woree Family Medical Centre
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> Far North Queensland
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