How sound is the double-blind design for evaluating psychotropic drugs?

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1993 Jun;181(6):345-50. doi: 10.1097/00005053-199306000-00002.


Sufficient data have accumulated to raise serious doubts about the integrity of the double-blind design that is presumed to shield psychotropic drug trials from bias and expectations. A major deficit in most drug trials has been the use of inert rather than active placebos. The deficiencies of the double-blind paradigm call for a questioning stance with respect to previous studies of psychotropic drug efficacy. Various possible ways of strengthening the double-blind paradigm are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Double-Blind Method*
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Placebos
  • Psychotropic Drugs