Review | Open Access
Ian Relf, Roberta Chow, Marie Pirotta, "Blinding Techniques in Randomized Controlled Trials of Laser Therapy: An Overview and Possible Solution", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 5, Article ID 948243, 7 pages, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem085
Blinding Techniques in Randomized Controlled Trials of Laser Therapy: An Overview and Possible Solution
Low-level laser therapy has evidence accumulating about its effectiveness in a variety of medical conditions. We reviewed 51 double blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of laser treatment. Analysis revealed 58% of trials showed benefit of laser over placebo. However, less than 5% of the trials had addressed beam disguise or allocation concealment in the laser machines used. Many of the trials used blinding methods that rely on staff cooperation and are therefore open to interference or bias. This indicates significant deficiencies in laser trial methodology. We report the development and preliminary testing of a novel laser machine that can blind both patient and operator to treatment allocation without staff participation. The new laser machine combines sealed preset and non-bypassable randomization codes, decoy lights and sound, and a conical perspex tip to overcome laser diode glow detection.
Copyright © 2008 Ian Relf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.