A critique of the double-blind clinical trial. Part 1

Altern Ther Health Med. 1996 Jan;2(1):74-80.


The randomized, double-blind study is generally regarded as the gold standard of clinical drug trials. Bias can occur as a result of the blinding procedure itself, but discussions of this type of bias have been few and far between. This article presents a detailed discussion of such blinding errors, which can obscure genuine drug effects and be of a sufficient magnitude as to generate false-negative results. Uncritical blinding in clinical studies should therefore be questioned.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Double-Blind Method*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards*