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THE UBIQUITY AND UTILITY OF THE THERAPEUTIC MISCONCEPTION

  • Rebecca Dresser (a1)

Extract

The term “therapeutic misconception” was coined in 1982 by Paul Appelbaum, Loren Roth, and Charles Lidz. Appelbaum and his colleagues interviewed participants in several psychiatric studies, including a drug trial with a placebo control arm. Appelbaum's group found that many people were unaware of the differences between participating in a study and receiving treatment in the clinical setting. Rather than understanding these differences, study participants tended to believe that therapy and research were governed by the same primary goal: to advance the individual patient's best interests. Appelbaum's group labeled this mistaken belief the therapeutic misconception.

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