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Evidence of bias in treatment effects in controlled trials with different interventions and outcomes

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    (From 2008)
    Full title: Empirical evidence of bias in treatment effect estimates in controlled trials with different interventions and outcomes:meta-epidemiological study

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    Sidereal, Simon, Woolie and 6 others like this.
  2. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Great article, @Dolphin!

    The key finding from this metanalysis was that lack of blinding in an efficacy trial increased the reported treatment effects when the outcome measure was subjective - that is, when it involved patients rating their own health, or doctors rating it for them on a subjective scale.

    Here's fig 2, the results showing degree of bias for various types of nonblinded trials. I've put a red box around the most important finding. Note the difference is significant.


    They said - and I have to laugh - that this finding was "unexpected"! :lol::rofl: That is, they didn't expect that bias due to lack of blinding would be bigger for trials using subjective than objective measures. Have they been living under a rock or something??? :confused:o_O

    It is especially interesting that bias was inherent in all studies relying on subjective measures, including both patient ratings and doctor ratings. So bias in these situations is unlikely to be the result of a magical mind-over-body placebo effect - not unless you really believe the doctor's mind can influence the patient's body.

    Its just plain old boring confirmation bias.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    Dolphin, Valentijn, Sean and 5 others like this.

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