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Definition of Placebo-controlled

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Placebo-controlled: A term used to describe a method of research in which an inactive substance (a placebo) is given to one group of participants, while the treatment (usually a drug or vaccine) being tested is given to another group. The results obtained in the two groups are then compared to see if the investigational treatment is more effective than the placebo.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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