announcement

Update: Check new design of our homepage!

What is Double-Blind Study?

What is Double-Blind Study?

Double-blind study is an exercise where both the healer and the patient are unaware of what medication is provided, and what could be its outcome. Confused? Have a look...
ScienceStruck Staff
Every person in this world faces some or the other kind of illness. Have you ever come across a situation where two of your relatives or acquaintances faced the same disorder and underwent exactly the same treatment? In most of these cases, you will find that one person recovered significantly better than the other. The reason... well, it is still a matter of research. The double-blinded study attempts to find the best healing procedure, and analyzes the psychology behind an ailment and its healing. It is a term used for a procedure in which both the person administering a treatment and the recipient of the treatment are unaware of it. It eliminates the subjugation of the healing to any sort of bias, and contrary to the way it is perceived, is a highly scientific procedure.
Understanding Double-Blind Study
Scientific research and the advancement in medical science is largely credited to such studies. Consider a random experiment that involved 30 patients. Each person was suffering from the same form of ailment. 15 of these patients were given the usual medicine, and 15 were given a placebo-medicine, which was harmless and a dummy treatment. However, both the doctors and the patients were unaware which patient was given which medicine. All the patients simply knew that they were administered a drug that would heal them. The results were astonishing, to say the least. Most of the under-trials who had a dose of fake medicine responded as well as the patients who had the actual dose of the medicine. This shows that the governing psychology is in fact the most crucial element in the treatment of diseases. The experiment is called a double-blinded study, since both the doctor and the patient knew nothing about who was given the placebo and who got the actual medicine.
Such studies eliminate the possibility of a bias on part of the doctor as well as the patient. The conclusion is that, there are some 'factors' which are unknown to the commonly perceived forms of treatments which makes people respond to the same treatment in a variety of ways. This study is used for clinical trials and researches throughout the world. But the underlying fact is that, there are certain issues which go beyond the common sense approach. What may seem as a conventional, effective, and a logical way of approaching a treatment, may not necessarily work in many cases.
Its Need
For the common man, away from all the research methodology and scientific procedures, the best way to know whether a treatment is effective or not, is experience. The thought process is, 'since my friend has benefited from the procedure, so will I' or 'I have been cured of an ailment by a particular drug so I will recommend the same to my cousin', and so on. This psychology comes into play in case of most people around the world. This study attempts to down-play this reasoning. Common observations and obvious results are not at all reliable when it comes to medical science. There are a host of elements at play in the healing process of individuals, which is characteristically unique for every person. The point is not whether the conventional healing methods are effective or not, of course they are, but not necessarily.
Such comparative studies are extremely crucial, since these comparisons help distinguish between fake samples and the actual medicines. No doubt, even a psychological impact can affect a recovery, but it cannot be the general rule. This study can aid the finding of such fake procedures.
Conclusion
Observational studies might lead to deep insights about the nature and treatment of a disease, but their main objective, which is a healthy and full recovery of an ailing person, should not languish in the background. Unfortunately, today's studies are aimed more at finding ways to fight a virus or an infection, rather than focusing on the actual healing. For example, billions of dollars are spent on research to fight the AIDS virus, and a number of blind-study procedures are thought to achieve the same. But what catastrophic effects this fight between medical science and the virus have on the 'battleground' of the human body, is a matter of grave concern.
Double-Blind study or any scientific medical procedure should be aimed at achieving a strong and healthy body, and we hope this remains its ultimate goal.