Deception in the Single-Blind Run-In Phase of Clinical Trials

A single-blind run-in phase is often employed in randomized controlled trials.  During these types of trials, all participants are given a placebo but are not informed of this fact.  In many trials, participants who are judged to be “placebo responders” or who don’t follow instructions for taking the drug are excluded from further participation at the conclusion of this phase.  Because participants are not informed of these procedures, this represents the use of deception in research.

Key words/concepts:  clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, placebo, single-blind, run-in, deception