Multi-center Double-blind Placebo Controlled Drug Trials are probably the gold standard of clinical trials. The sentance can be parsed as follows:

  • Multi-center: The trial took place at multiple locations around the country or world. This ensures that the results are generalizable to everyone, not just a small geographic region.
  • Double-blind: Neither the participants in the trial nor the researchers knew whether they were getting the experimental drug, or a placebo. This prevents subject or researcher bias from affecting the study results.
  • Placebo controlled: This indicates that some (usually half) of the participants were given an inactive placebo pill, and the other subjects were given an experimental treatment.

One example of this type of study is:

  • Zisook S., Kasckow J., Golshan S., Fellows I., Solorzano E., Lehman D., Mohamed S., Jeste D., (2009). Citalopram Augmentation for Subsyndromal Depressive Symptoms in Middle-Aged and Older Patients with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 70(4):562-71