Success of masking 5% povidone-iodine treatment: The reducing adenoviral patient infected days study

Meredith M. Whiteside, Ellen S. Shorter, Mathew S. Margolis, Fatima Alvi, Julia B. Huecker, Tammy P. Than, Mary K. Migneco, Jennifer S. Harthan, Christina E. Morettin, Andrew T.E. Hartwick, Spencer D. Johnson, Chamila D. Perera, Mae O. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

SIGNIFICANCE: The effectiveness of masking is rarely evaluated or reported in single- or double-masked clinical trials. Knowledge of treatment assignment by participants and clinicians can bias the assessment of treatment efficacy. PURPOSE: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness ofmasking in a double-masked trial of5%povidone-iodine for the treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis. METHODS: The Reducing Adenoviral Patient Infected Days study is a double-masked, randomized trial comparing a one-time, in-office administration of 5%povidone-iodine with artificial tears for the treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis. Masking was assessed by asking participants and masked clinicians at designated time points if they believed the treatment administered was povidone-iodine or artificial tears, or if they were unsure. Adequacy of masking was quantified using a modified Bang Blinding Index. RESULTS: Immediately after treatment, 34%of participants who received povidone-iodine and 69%of those who received artificial tears guessed incorrectly or were unsure of their treatment (modified Bang Indices of 0.31 and -0.38, respectively). On day 4, 38%of the povidone-iodine participants and 52%of the artificial tear participants guessed incorrectly or were unsure of their treatment (modified Bang Indices of 0.24 and -0.05, respectively), indicating adequate and ideal masking. On days 1, 4, 7, 14, and 21,masked clinicians guessed incorrectly or were unsure of treatment in 53%, 50%, 40%, 39%, and 42% among povidone-iodine participants compared with 44%, 35%, 38%, 35%, and 39% among artificial tears participants, respectively. The modified Bang Indices for clinician masking in the povidone-iodine group ranged from -0.05 to 0.25 and from 0.13 to 0.29 in the artificial tears group. CONCLUSIONS: Masking of participants and clinicians was adequate. Successful masking increases confidence that subjective measurements are not biased.We recommend quantitative assessment and reporting the effectiveness of masking in ophthalmic clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Volume98
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

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