A review of the available literature indicated no adequately controlled experimentation in the use of reserpine with chronically disturbed long-term mental patients.
It has been noted1 that patients have evidenced remarkable changes, both psychological and physiological, when treated with placebos. Therefore, it was felt that the effect of the drug must be measured simultaneously with that of the placebo. Since experimenters have observed changes in patients due to placebo, it may be possible that changes ascribed to medicines are sometimes due to suggestive effects.
Quite often the intercession of a different routine on chronic wards will lead to the entire ward showing at least temporary improvement behaviorally.2 It is therefore necessary to include a nontreated control group.
The effect of suggestion must be measured as well as the effect of an intercession of a break in ward routine when one is attempting to evaluate a drug. For these
SOMMERNESS MD, LUCERO RJ, HAMLON JS, ERICKSON JL, MATTHEWS R. A Controlled Study of Reserpine on Chronically Disturbed Patients. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(3):316-319. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330150082012