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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