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Open Access Women's Experiences as Members of Attention Control and Experimental Intervention Groups in a Randomized Controlled Trial L'expérience/les perceptions des femmes en tant que participantes à un groupe témoin avec attention et à un groupe d'intervention expérimentale, dans le cadre d'un essai clinique randomisé

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Attention control groups are often used in research testing the efficacy of psychosocial and behavioural interventions in order to control for placebo effects. The authors conducted a descriptive qualitative study to investigate how participants viewed their experiences in attention control and experimental intervention groups following a randomized controlled trial for women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Moderately structured interviews were conducted with 18 women (12 from the experimental intervention group and 6 from the attention control group). Members of the control group reported some benefits but few behavioural changes as a result of participating in the RCT, and some participants expressed disappointment at not receiving the intervention. Perceptions of changes in attitudes towards fibromyalgia syndrome and behaviours reported by the intervention group appear to be consistent with the theory underlying the intervention. Possible placebo effects identified in both groups include negative and positive social interactions with other participants.

Un groupe témoin avec attention peut être utilisé pour contrôler l'effet placebo lors de l'évaluation d'interventions psychosociales et comportementales. Les auteures ont réalisé une étude descriptive qualitative afin de cerner les perceptions de femmes atteintes du syndrome de fibromyalgie concernant leur participation/expérience au sein d'un groupe témoin avec attention et d'un groupe d'intervention expérimentale, à la suite d'un essai clinique randomisé. Des entrevues semi structurées ont été réalisées auprès de 18 femmes (12 du groupe d'intervention expérimentale et six du groupe témoin avec attention). Les participantes du groupe témoin ont signalé certains bienfaits mais peu de changements comportementaux découlant de la participation à l'essai clinique. Certaines participantes ont été déçues de ne pas avoir bénéficié de ce type d'intervention. Des perceptions de changements dans les attitudes concernant le syndrome de fibromyalgie et certains comportements rapportés par le groupe d'intervention semblent conformes à la théorie sous-jacente à l'intervention. Des interactions sociales négatives et positives avec les autres participantes figurent parmi les effets placebos possibles relevés chez les deux groupes.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • CJNR is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the McGill University School of Nursing since 1969. With world-wide circulation, CJNR's primary mandate is to publish original nursing research that develops basic knowledge for the discipline and examines the application of the knowledge in practice. Research related to education and history is also welcomed, as are methodological, theoretical, and review papers that advance nursing science. Letters or commentaries about published articles are encouraged. Learn more.
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