Demanding attention: Reconsidering the role of attention control groups in behavioral intervention research

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Abstract

Attention control groups play an important but controversial role in randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions. The study by Pagoto et al. in this issue of Psychosomatic Medicine provides an informative example of some of the problems that attention control conditions can create in psychosomatic and behavioral medicine trials. This article discusses the reasons why these problems occur and provides some practical solutions. It also explains why controlling for attention is unnecessary and counterproductive in some behavioral trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-102
Number of pages3
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • clinical trials
  • confounding factors
  • control groups
  • placebo effect
  • placebos
  • psychotherapy
  • randomized controlled trials

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