Does Short Term Placebo Treatment of Chronic Schizophrenia Produce Long Term Harm?
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1986 Sep 20; 293(6549): 726-728.
Although a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial is the most reliable method for assessing new treatment developments, its use in evaluating psychoactive drugs in chronic schizophrenics has been criticized as contributing to their long term deterioration. The authors conducted a seven-year follow-up of patients included in a nine-month trial of fluphenazine, in which 66% of the placebo group relapsed during the trial as against 8% of the drug group. At the end of the follow-up period, the authors found no consistent or important differences between the two groups in any clinical or social variable measured. They conclude that this result has implications for the debate on the risks of placebo controlled trials, although each trial must still be judged on its own merits. (KIE abstract)
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