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THE "DOUBLE BLIND" METHOD: ITS PITFALLS AND FALLACIES
WERNER TUTEUR
Am J Psychiatry 1958;114:921-922.
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Clinical Director, Elgin State Hospital, Elgin, Ill.; Clinical Associate, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, Ill.

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Abstract

A critical review of the so-called "double blind" study reveals pitfalls, fallacies and inadequacies of this method of investigation which in the past has created an unwarranted security in many investigators. The "Worsening" of patients' conditions while on placebos is demoralizing to patients and personnel and the ethics of such a procedure in a patient who is in dire need of active treatment can be questioned. It is imperative that the compound under investigation and the plbcebo have identical appearance and taste, since even disturbed patients, in our experience, are able to differentiate the two drugs by it, thus jeopardizing the most carefully planned and conscientiously carried out project. Side effects occurring on the active compound reveal the identity of the active and inert drug group.

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