Standardof Treatment Control Groups

Another viable option is that of selecting and delivering what, on the basis of past, independently replicated RCTs, appears to be the most effective of the treatments in use in the community. This allays many of the problems with TAU control groups, because now the one control treatment can be optimally delivered by research staff, decreasing the heterogeneity within the control group. Also, blinding can now be more complete and effective. Moreover, patients can be assured that current medical knowledge indicates that the treatment in the control group is as good as or better than what they would receive if they were not in the study, which again is an inducement both to participate in the RCT and to not drop out. If there is persuasive evidence that the new treatment T is indeed superior (or at least equivalent) to others currently available, significant findings in such a study might well convince clinicians to use T rather than whatever treatment they had been using.

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