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Thread: Poorly Reported Placebos Could Lead To Mistaken Estimates Of Benefits And Harms

  1. #1
    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    18th April 2011
    Roleystone, Western Australia

    Default Poorly Reported Placebos Could Lead To Mistaken Estimates Of Benefits And Harms

    University of Oxford
    September 30 2019

    Their findings are published today in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
    Placebo controls are the 'gold' standard against which new treatments are often measured. If a new treatment consistently proves to be better than a placebo treatment, then it is taken to be effective. Otherwise, it isn't.
    Co-lead author and Director of the Oxford Empathy Programme, Jeremy Howick, said: 'There is a fundamental problem with this "gold" standard. Different placebos have very different effects, which then lead to (sometimes, mistaken) inferences about a new treatment's effects or harms.'

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    25th October 2011
    East coast, USA

    Default Re: Poorly Reported Placebos Could Lead To Mistaken Estimates Of Benefits And Harms

    Astounding!! Randomized double blind placebo control (RDBPC) clinical trials are considered the "gold standard" because, unlike observational studies, they have the ability to demonstrate causality. So, you end up being able to identify cause and an effective treatment that actually addresses the cause. But, if you get the placebo wrong, you unknowingly end up with bias results and incorrect estimates of treatment effects. These researchers did an analysis of all the RDBPC clinical trials published in the "top 6 medical journals" last year--2018. They identified 94 such studies, and found that not 1 of the 94--not 1--met all of the criteria in the 12-point checklist designed to ensure the correct and proper use of placebos in RDBPCs. So much for fully trusting these gold standard studies.

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