Most Read Articles
3 days ago
A recent study reports a mean growth rate of proximal aorta of about 0.1 mm/year in hypertensive patients with known aortic dilatation. In addition, those with increased rather than normal aortic z score have slower dilatation over time.
Tristan Manalac, 2 days ago
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be more dangerous among cancer patients, who tend suffer more severe complications and faster disease progression, according to a new study.
6 days ago
Knee osteoarthritis (OA), whether symptomatic or radiographic, contributes to an increased risk of all-cause mortality, with the risk increase from symptomatic knee OA partially attributed to its effect on disability and quality of life (QoL).
2 days ago
Cuff-based excess pressure (XSP) is modestly associated with carotid intima–media thickness independent of conventional risk factors, reveals a recent study.

Tweaking design may help minimize placebo effects in atopic dermatitis trials

22 Dec 2019

Placebo responses appear to be common in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for atopic dermatitis (AD), reports a new meta-analysis. Better methodological control, such as double- or triple-blinding and more balanced sex distributions, may help address this.

After applying the selection criteria, 64 RCTs were found to be eligible and were ultimately included in the meta-analysis. Half of the included studies were on adults, and 39.1 percent enrolled children. Studies were retrieved from the databases of Scopus, Lilacs, Great, Embase, Medline and the Cochrane Library.

Most of the studies (81.3 percent; n=52) were double-blinded, 3.1 percent (n=2) were unblinded and 9.4 percent (n=6) did not specify either way. Only over half (57.8 percent; n=37) were specific about the target severity of the population.

There was also great heterogeneity in the outcome measures used. The numerical rating scale or visual analogue scale (NRS/VAS) was employed most commonly, followed by the objective Scoring AD (SCORAD) index and the Eczema Area Severity Index (EASI). The Dermatology Life Quality Index was also used, as were different laboratory tests.

Multivariable mixed models of Cohen’s D found that the effect sizes of EASI scores increased in the placebo arms of studies with more males. The same was true for effect sizes of NRS/VAS.

Study design also appeared to be an important consideration for placebo effects. The effect-sizes of EASI in the placebo group were lower in studies that were double- or triple-blinded. Those with concomitant prescription of topical therapies, on the other hand, saw greater effects of EASI and NRS/VAS in placebo groups.

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Most Read Articles
3 days ago
A recent study reports a mean growth rate of proximal aorta of about 0.1 mm/year in hypertensive patients with known aortic dilatation. In addition, those with increased rather than normal aortic z score have slower dilatation over time.
Tristan Manalac, 2 days ago
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be more dangerous among cancer patients, who tend suffer more severe complications and faster disease progression, according to a new study.
6 days ago
Knee osteoarthritis (OA), whether symptomatic or radiographic, contributes to an increased risk of all-cause mortality, with the risk increase from symptomatic knee OA partially attributed to its effect on disability and quality of life (QoL).
2 days ago
Cuff-based excess pressure (XSP) is modestly associated with carotid intima–media thickness independent of conventional risk factors, reveals a recent study.