The science and ethics of placebo in pediatric psychopharmacology

Ethics and Behavior 18 (2-3):266 – 285 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Pediatric psychopharmacology is a relatively new science. Although the use of psychotropic medications in children has risen in the past decade, there are few standard treatments for serious psychiatric or developmental disorders of childhood. The relative absence of standard treatments is further complicated by the fact that many of the agents used in pediatric psychopharmacology have been adapted from other fields. Therefore, investigators have a responsibility to make incremental progress from concept through pilot studies and large-scale, multisite efficacy and safety trials. Thus, although there is a pressing need to conduct medication trials that can guide clinical practice, there are scientific and ethical considerations to bear in mind when designing clinical trials in pediatric psychopharmacology. This article reviews essential ethical and scientific issues that are relevant to designing clinical trials in children with psychiatric and developmental disorders. Using examples from recently published literature, the article describes the challenges and pitfalls of various clinical trial study designs. The application of sound ethical and scientific principles is necessary to ensure that clinical trials are properly conducted and to guard against ambiguous results that can not guide practice.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,168

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

37 (#433,006)

6 months
6 (#528,006)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references