BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4711 (Published 27 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4711

Peer pressure affects most of us, but who knew it extended to our memories? Thirty participants watched a documentary video and then took a memory test. When led to believe that peers had provided certain answers, participants showed a strong tendency to conform in 68.3% of trials, even if their initial recollection had been accurate. With the trick debunked, some reverted to correct memories, but a substantial number of memory errors persisted. The researchers attribute their finding to activity in the amygdala and say it could explain conformist behaviour in cults and sects (Science 2011;333:108-11, doi:10.1126/science.1203557).

A review of opioid use in cancer conducted to update recommendations from the European Association of Palliative Care shows how few clinical choices in this area are based on strong evidence (http://pmj.sagepub.com/content/current). No randomised trials have examined the best management of opioid induced nausea and vomiting, a side effect likely to affect quality of life for many patients. Recommendations for dose titration of oral opioids depend on data from only 36 patients in one trial. The relatively recent practice of switching opioids to improve analgesia …

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