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November 1968

Predicting the Relief of Anxiety With MeprobamateNondrug Factors in the Response of Psychoneurotic Outpatients

Author Affiliations

Baltimore; Philadelphia; Boston; Baltimore
From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore (Drs. Uhlenhuth, Covi, and Park); the Psychopharmacology Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Barlow Bldg, Chevy Chase, Md (Dr. Lipman); the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Dr. Rickels); and the Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Division of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston (Dr. Fisher). Dr. Uhlenhuth is currently at Department of Psychiatry, the University of Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(5):619-630. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740110107014

AS THE minor tranquilizers gain increasing acceptance in the treatment of ambulatory psychiatric patients, a closer delineation of their clinical effects and the most favorable circumstances for their use become important considerations. This report is one of a series based on a multiclinic, placebocontrolled trial of meprobamate in anxious outpatients, directed toward these questions.1

Method  The study was designed originally to determine whether the doctor's expressed attitude toward the prescribed medication influences the effect of the drug (defined as the difference in response to drug and placebo). Psychoneurotic outpatients, 138, manifesting anxiety were treated for six weeks with medication and brief, supportive interviews every two weeks with a psychiatric resident. The patients were divided among 12 (2 X 2 X 3) different treatment conditions composed of: (1) meprobamate 400 mg, q.i.d., vs an identical placebo in a double-blind arrangement; (2) a doctor expressing an enthusiastic attitude toward the medication

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