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NBME 17 Answers

nbme17/Block 2/Question#33 (reveal difficulty score)
A study is conducted to assess the ...
Placebo effect ๐Ÿ” / ๐Ÿ“บ / ๐ŸŒณ / ๐Ÿ“–

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 +15  upvote downvote
submitted by โˆ—flapjacks(110)

My reasoning for this question:

  • In both situations, you see a cyclical increase in pain before receiving the injection. This could be seen if the effect was wearing off; however, if you notice, there is a decrease in pain before the injection is even given. I believe this implies that something inherent about the injection is providing pain relief.
  • Furthermore, both curves follow the same path with an eventual decrease in pain, regardless of intervention.
  • Maybe an additional point - I am not questioning their pain, but fibromyalgia typically shows no abnormal lab results in addition to typically coexisting with some form of mental pathology. I don't think placebo being demonstrated is far off.
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j44n  I agree that was my though process, except i didnt notice the decrease before the injection, good eye! also the other answers didnt really apply regression toward the mean is the phenomenon that arises if a random variable is extreme on its first or first few measurements but closer to the mean or average on further measurements and there was no way for us to know about confounding or their selection procedures so from that we couldn't really know about the types of errors they made +3

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