Send to

Choose Destination
Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Mar;32(2):240-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2010.11.004. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

The blind leading the blind: use and misuse of blinding in randomized controlled trials.

Author information

Research and Clinical Services, Sprim Advanced Life Sciences, 235 Pine Street, Suite 1175, San Francisco, CA 94104, United States.


The use of blinding strengthens the credibility of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) by minimizing bias. However, there is confusion surrounding the definition of blinding as well as the terms single, double, and triple blind. It has been suggested that these terms should be discontinued due to their broad misinterpretation. We recommend that, instead of abandoning the use of these terms, explicit definitions of blinding should be adopted. We address herein the concept of blinding, propose standard definitions for the consistent use of these terms, and detail when different types of blinding should be utilized. Standardizing the definition of blinding and utilizing proper blinding methods will improve the quality and clarity of reporting in RCTs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center