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Ballet Dad 48

Medical Research/Eating Disorders

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There is a national medical study underway of decreased bone strength in underweight girls or those with eating disorders. Obviously this is an issue of concern for many ballet parents.

If you are interested in participating in this study, or in more information, you can call 1-800-273-1304 or visit MyBoneHealth.com.

I have no connection with this study, but the researchers have asked that word about it be spread in the community.

d

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While this certainly sounds like a bona fide research project, and its goals seem quite laudable, why am I troubled by a clinical inquiry that would use the web in gathering sample participants? If I were a parent, I'd have lots of questions for the 800 number! Like specifically what hospitals are involved? What physicians are participating? Then I'd do some more research on the institutions and people, and clear everything FIRST with the family doctor, before joining in, and see what s/he has to input on this project. Something just doesn't feel right, here!:confused:

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I just saw an ad in the current Dance Magazine for this study...it had an awful picture of a child in too big ballet slippers...talking about eating disorders and the study they are doing. Gave me the creeps to tell you the truth. It may be a kosher study but the implied statement about dancers is a stereotype and the picture manipulative. They are doing a clinical study on a medication for girls severly underweight or have been diagnosed with an ED and how the medication helps bone strength. I don't know...guinea pig time? :rolleyes:

Just checked on the ad...it has a different number...1-800-753-5391 and the site is GirlsBoneHealth.com. Is it just coincidence that there are two of these going on or are their two different contact numbers? :confused:

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The websites mentioned in the above posts on this thread look so very alike, and yet have different names and 800 numbers; curiouser and curiouser!

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I'd be suspicious too. My daughter participated in a study for Skidmore College when she was 11 or 12 years old. It was a study comparing bone strength and endurance in young adolescent females in ballet, gymnastics, and college athletes.

The director of the study came to the ballet school through a ballet teacher at the college who had guest taught at the school on occasions in the past. We parents were all invited to a meeting and given detailed written data on the study. Because it was arranged through someone we knew and trusted, many of us were willing to let our daughters participate.

(The 12 year old ballet dancers and gymnasts were far stronger than the female college athletes).

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I don't think it's so very sinister, at least as far as the two websites are concerned. They ARE related -- one (GirlsBoneHealth.com) states clearly that it is for MD's, nurses and clinical personnel to find out more about the study, and the other (MyBoneHealth.com) is for girls and their parents.

I don't have a huge problem with recruiting participants this way, from the standpoint of the study's validity. It's actually a pretty effective way of recruiting large numbers of patients, and it COULD have the additional virtue of alerting some girls -- and their parents -- to a potential problem. As Major Mel points out, though, a girl/family should not enter into this study without the guidance of the family physician. He/she can help evaluate the qualifications of the investigators, the design of the study, and the potential good or harm to be reaped from receiving -- or not receiving -- the medication being studied.

ALL clinical trials of medications are sponsored by the manufacturer. In order to get FDA approval, the manufacturer has to demonstrate the treatment's safety and effectiveness. They are only allowed to do so after initial studies, usually in animals, suggest both safety and the promise of effectiveness.

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Thanks, Treefrog.

I should repeat, as I did in my orginal post, that I am not associated with the study, in fact not even participating. Nobody is "recruiting" on the internet. I was simply posting information I saw in an ad in the relatively legitimate New York Times. The illustration was not wierd in any way, just a mom & adughter if I recall correctly. (I'd be a lousy focus group participant.)

I know people have concerns about these issues, and should. Sometimes people are looking for resources. It's true that such studies are highly regulated and peer-reviewed, though they are necessarily experimental in anture (obviously!) and the process can be flawed, just like a too-early transition to pointe. No one, least of all me, is pressuring anyone to become involved: the purpose of the site & 800 number is exactly to do what Ballet Master suggests: provide accurate information on participation in the study to interested people. If that's not you, no harm done, I trust.

d

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