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Placebo trials in depression treatment studies

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Garry Leonard

PSYD33: Placebo For: • Both groups are guessing which group they are placed in, therefore both groups are facing the distress • It is a good to get another anti-depressant on the market and have more drugs available • Even though patients in the placebo group don’t get treatment, in the long run they will be getting more treatment available for the future • If there is a placebo effect, you can isolate that effect and therefore you can find the real effects of the treatment, and what effects are caused by the disorder • Placebo studies are cheap, and also have very high internal validity, and is by far a greater research design • Placebo design can also isolate side effects of disorder and treatments. • Offers an opportunity for possible treatment instead of no treatment. Some people do not get treatment in a year etc. • If someone is assigned a placebo group and are struggling they are able to drop out if they want to seek alternate treatments • People are autonomous and have informed consent. If the patient is cognitively impaired, a guardian is used • Although there are current antidepressants on the market, they may have side effects or the drugs might not create a response to certain patients. Therefore, by putting more drugs on the market, people who are unable to take drugs because of side effects will have another option • Tri-council have a set of guidelines for ethical policies for placebo research design (go google it) get the second version. The guidelines have 7-9 conditions in which placebos are ethical. • Cognitive behavioural therapy will be expensive (usually not covered by ohip) and isn’t as available (long waitlists), therefore doing a trial may be more helpful • Placebo trials are needed to be approved in Canada and the USA • Children and adolescents don’t have any approved treatments for depression, therefore placebo is needed to find these treatments • Benefits society (collectivist vs individual point of view) • What’s the big deal? Placebo response is 40 %. You will likely feel better even if you don’t have the treatment Against: • Can’t d
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