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Methodological Issues of using Placebos in Interventions Based on Digital Technology

Farr, William, Male, Ian, Green, Dido, Morris, Christopher, Gage, Heather, Bailey, Sarah, Speller, Sandra, Colville, Val, Jackson, Mandy, Bremner, Stephen and Memon, Anjum (2017) Methodological Issues of using Placebos in Interventions Based on Digital Technology Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine, 6 (2). pp. 56-63.

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Background/Aims: Use of placebo is the ideal for comparison in clinical trials to reduce biases. With digital technology being used more frequently in healthcare interventions, how do we determine the placebo effect where interventions exploit technology? If placebo in medicine is traditionally defined by a lack of pharmacological agents, how might we begin to move towards controlling for effects of digital technology?

Method: This paper explores the traditional placebo effect and discusses its impact in healthcare contexts with digital technology with reference to a particular trial. Different meanings of placebo in the context of evaluating technology suggest new challenges and positive consequences.

Results: Methodological considerations are discussed, which enabled the development of a placebo-controlled evaluation of a digital technology in healthcare and rehabilitation.

Conclusion: Digital placebo was controlled in our trial by employing technology across all groups in the absence of evidence-based practice and shows how to control for unknown and hidden effects of technology.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Authors :
Farr, William
Male, Ian
Green, Dido
Morris, Christopher
Speller, Sandra
Colville, Val
Jackson, Mandy
Bremner, Stephen
Memon, Anjum
Date : January 2017
DOI : 10.7309/jmtm.6.2.7
Copyright Disclaimer : © | Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine Inc. This article is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Unported license(CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 29 Sep 2017 07:27
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:57

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