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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    dispenser of medicine

    Hi,

    I have some difficulty in understanding the following paragraph. Could anybody help me?



    We lose data by not allowing the dispenser of medicine to know whether a placebo is being administered, but that consideration is trivial compared with the improvement in the power of the design to answer the primary question about effectiveness.


    Thanks in advance.

    Purple

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Hmmm, help me out here teachers, please!
    Red5
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  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: dispenser of medicine

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple
    Hi,

    I have some difficulty in understanding the following paragraph. Could anybody help me?



    We lose data by not allowing the dispenser of medicine to know whether a placebo is being administered, but that consideration is trivial compared with the improvement in the power of the design to answer the primary question about effectiveness.


    Thanks in advance.

    Purple
    The first part "we lose data by" does not make any sense to me. This paragraph seems to be advocating ths usage of placebos in clinical trials (called blinded studies). In these studies, patients are randomized and then given medicine or placebo, based on the randomization. The patient is not told what he/she has been given. If the doctor also doesn't know whether the prescription is real or placebo, the study is double-blinded. These are the most powerful clinical studies, because it removes the bias of the doctor and most of the bias of the patient in reporting improvement.

    No data are lost in this process. When the code is broken (after the study has been completed), all the data are still there.

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