Roydhouse, J and Tomko, RL and Gray, KM and Gutman, R, Assessment of patient perception of treatment assignment and patient-reported outcomes in a cannabis use disorder trial, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse pp. 1-11. ISSN 0095-2990 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Background: Blinding is a cornerstone of trial methodology. Prior work indicates participant-perceived assignment may be associated with trial outcomes. Less is known about how perception changes over time and if this is associated with outcomes.
Objectives: To evaluate if participants change their perception of assignment over time in a blinded trial, and if perception is associated with different types of patient-reported outcomes (PROs).Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data from the Achieving Cannabis Cessation-Evaluating N-Acetylcysteine Treatment (ACCENT) trial, which evaluated the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) relative to placebo for treating cannabis use disorder. Participants (N = 234; 164 men, 70 women) were asked at weeks 5 and 9 what treatment (placebo or NAC) they believed they were receiving. We included PROs proximal (cannabis-associated problems, craving) and distal (anxiety) to the intervention. Analysis was by multiple linear regression and mixed models.
Results: Approximately 20% of participants in both arms changed their perception over time. Relative to participants who consistently perceived assignment to placebo, participants who consistently perceived assignment to NAC did not always have comparatively better average scores (coefficient -3.3 [95% CI: -7.0, 0.5]). In some analyses, participants who switched to guessing NAC from placebo had comparatively better average scores (coefficient -3.0 [95% CI: -9.3, 3.4]), but this was inconsistent across outcomes or strata defined by actual assignment or guess accuracy.
Conclusion: The study suggests that the proportion of individuals who switch their perception over time is modest. However, this group may influence the estimates of intervention effects on some PROS.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||trial, blinding, patient reported outcome, perception|
|Research Division:||Health Sciences|
|Research Group:||Health services and systems|
|Research Field:||Health services and systems not elsewhere classified|
|Objective Group:||Evaluation of health and support services|
|Objective Field:||Evaluation of health outcomes|
|UTAS Author:||Roydhouse, J (Dr Jessica Roydhouse)|
|Deposited By:||Menzies Institute for Medical Research|
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