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January 1970

Controlled Interviews Using Drugs

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va. Dr. Hain is currently with the Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(1):2-10. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740250004002

THE USE of drugs, especially those of the barbiturate class, for facilitating psychiatric diagnostic and therapeutic interviews has a history of more than three decades.1,2 There are many references to such use and a number of advocates of interviewing with drugs for medical purposes.3-8 However, since we were unable to find references to systematic and controlled studies of the efficacy of drugs in interviewing, we have undertaken comparisons between three "active" drugs and a placebo.

We have reported elsewhere the first analyses of the data of this project.9 These showed that the active drugs differed from each other and from the placebo in their effects on patients' speech, on the direction of their attention, and on their level of anxiety. It was also noted that 24 hours after the interview there were differential drug effects as reported by the patients on a questionnaire.