Placebos In Clinical Trials Continued
All patients in a clinical trial must be informed there is a chance they could be in the group receiving the placebo. However, they will not know if they are receiving the placebo as no one is supposed to reveal this information, and the placebo itself mimics the real treatment in looks, taste, as well as feel. In some instances, the doctors will not even know who is in the control group until the results come in, and this is called a double-blind controlled study. This helps mitigate expectations, though it is typically used in studies where patient reporting is key, such as for symptoms of insomnia or depression, instead of for medication with objective measures, such as when treating cancer. When it comes down to it, the blind portion of placebos is intended to avoid biases as well as the previously mentioned expectation mitigation.
Continue reading to reveal exactly what the placebo effect is.