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Factors Contributing to Failed Trials of New Agents: Can Technology Prevent Some Problems?

John H. Greist, MD; James C. Mundt, PhD; and Kenneth Kobak, PhD

Published: February 1, 2002

Article Abstract

For psychiatry to contribute to the development of the next generation of antidepressant pharmacotherapies,effective use of clinical trial methods is as critical as innovation in neurochemical research.Results from clinical trials on the efficacy of a new drug can be obscured by methodological problems.Accurate diagnosis and precise measurement of the clinical symptoms during conduct of theclinical trials are crucial to obtaining interpretable outcomes. As tools that reliably diagnose disordersand assess symptoms become available, computer administration of rating instruments may improvethe accuracy of clinical trial results. This article describes methodological factors that can confoundstudy outcomes and discusses the potential for interactive voice response (IVR) technology to addresssome of these problems.

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