The introduction of new and allegedly improved physical and pharmacological treatments in psychiatry is proceeding at a remarkable rate. Many reports of such "treatments" are so deficient in one or more of the fundamental elements of experimental design or reporting procedures as to be valueless, and by their very publication compound confusion. This has led to several major conferences within the past year devoted to questions of designing, conducting, and reporting on new therapies.1,2
The present investigation was started in 1954 with the intent to compare reserpine with 11-desmethoxyreserpine (Raunormine), which is obtainable from plants growing in the Western Hemisphere.3 At the time there were many laudatory reports on the value of reserpine in treatment of hospitalized schizophrenic patients, but there were questions unanswered as to duration of an adequate trial and of effective dosage. While it was known at the start of this work that Raunormine possessed
TURNER WJ, CARL A, MERLIS S, WILCOXON F. Chemotherapeutic Trials in Psychosis: II. Design and Conduct of a Trial of Raunormine Versus Reserpine and Phenobarbital in Chronic Schizophrenia. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(5):597–602. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340050125016
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