Finding and appraising qualitative evidence
Surgery for the treatment of psychiatric illness: the need to test untested theories< Back to search results
- Format Texts
- Language/s English
- Target Audience Further education, Self-directed learning
- EBM Stage 0 - Why EBM?
- Duration <5 mins
- Difficulty Intermediate
Key Concepts addressed
- 1-1b Dramatic treatment effects are rare
- 1-3c Expert opinion is not always right
- 1-2i More is not necessarily better
This resource is about the article Wessely S (2009). Surgery for the treatment of psychiatric illness: the need to test untested theories. JLL Bulletin: Commentaries on the history of treatment evaluation.
In this essay, Simon Wessely describes the theory of autointoxication, which arose in the 1890s, as an explanation for symptoms of fatigue, depression, insomnia and similar malaises.
The essence of the theory is that germs within the body were causing these symptoms. The theory was influential in how clinicians thought about many different conditions, including mental health. Radical treatments were devised and put into practice, including surgical removal of the colon.
at the beginning of the twentieth century many patients paid with their lives as a result of action based [untested] theories