Problems with Double Blind in Medicine

Abstract

Double blind tests of drugs and procedures depend on obtaining two equal and randomly assigned groups to be compared. With a diagnosis based only on symptoms, but with different etiologies, this is not very likely. We here show the probability of obtaining two equal groups with one diagnosis but three etiologies. The mathematical name for such a problem is multivariate hypergeometric distribution. We find that increasing the group size decreases the probability.

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Reichelt, Y. and Reichelt, K. (2015) Problems with Double Blind in Medicine. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 5, 204-206. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2015.52024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

[1] Lehman, J. (1972) Mental and Neuromuscular Symptoms in Tryptophan Deficiency. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Suppl. 237.

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