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A change in the disease process or a change in questionnaire answering behaviour?

Posted by AndrewK on 08 Nov 2012 at 14:27 GMT

The results of studies like this one may be confounded due to the fact that self-report questionnaires are used in the place of objective measures of the disease process.

Thus, the measured effects of the treatment may simply be due to short term changes in questionnaire answering behaviour. Based on a number of biases, including simple human optimism.

The genetic marker observed in this study may simply be associated with such change in behaviour, rather than an underlying change in the disease process.

I strongly that a long term trial (years) of such placebo treatments would see the treatment effect size reverting towards the mean, as the behavioural biases on symptom reporting diminish.

No competing interests declared.