randomized, placebo-controlled trial
||By Joe Holmes
The double blind test are they really reliable? The medical
community uses double blind tests and its theory as a reliable
method to remove bias. The concept of randomly selected
participates and giving half of them a placebo sounds good.
The reality is that the participants in some cases may not
be randomly selected. Thus the sample participants can be
rigged to remove anyone who may provide a negative result.
I participated in one years ago where they did considerable
advance tests to determine if I was a candidate for the
drug being tested. I have read documents supporting this
but can only find the one below for now. I am sure I will
come across others
double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial: gold
standard or golden calf? Kaptchuk
TJ. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical
School, 330 Brookline Avenue, KW-400, Boston, MA 02215,
The double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) is accepted
by medicine as objective scientific methodology that, when
ideally performed, produces knowledge untainted by bias.
The validity of the RCT rests not just on theoretical arguments,
but also on the discrepancy between the RCT and less rigorous
evidence (the difference is sometimes considered an objective
measure of bias). A brief overview of historical and recent
developments in "the discrepancy argument" is
presented. The article then examines the possibility that
some of this "deviation from truth" may be the
result of artifacts introduced by the masked RCT itself.
Can an "unbiased" method produce bias? Among the
experiments examined are those that augment the methodological
stringency of a normal RCT in order to render the experiment
less susceptible to subversion by the mind. This methodology,
a hypothetical "platinum" standard, can be used
to judge the "gold" standard. The concealment
in a placebo-controlled RCT seems capable of generating
a "masking bias." Other potential biases, such
as "investigator self-selection," "preference,"
and "consent" are also briefly discussed. Such
potential distortions indicate that the double-blind RCT
may not be objective in the realist sense, but
rather is objective in a "softer" disciplinary
sense. Some "facts" may not exist independent
of the apparatus of their production.