posted by ash on .
A researcher is designing a study to examine whether "talk therapy" (psychotherapy) can help people suffering from depression, as an add-on to taking medication. Finances and logistics limit her to having one control group, so she has to choose the best (not necessarily the perfect) control. She will have access to 60 people who have been diagnosed with depression, are have been taking medication for depression for at least 3 months, but who report lingering depression systems. She will randomly assign them to treatment and control. Half will remain on their current medication and engage in 3 psychotherapy sessions a week for 12 weeks, each for 50 minutes. All will see the same therapist and receive the same form of psychotherapy. They will complete a depression inventory at the beginning and end of the treatment condition. Rank the following possible control conditions, from best choice to worst choice (that is, 1= best, 3= worst)
a) The control group would be told that they had been assigned to an activity group during the same 12 weeks as the treatment group is undergoing psychotherapy. During this time they would engage in recreational activities, but no therapy.They would complete the same depression inventory at the beginning and end as the treatment group.
b) The control group would be told that they had been placed on a waiting list for psychotherapy, and would be eligible to start as soon as openings are available. None would be assigned to therapy during the 12 weeks. They would complete the same depression inventory as the treatment group at the beginning and end of the 12 weeks.
c) The control group would be asked to refrain from their medications during the same 12 weeks as the treatment group is undergoing psychotherapy. They would be assigned to a 12 week group therapy session facilitated by a fellow depression sufferer during the same weeks as the treatment condition.They would complete the same depression inventory at the beginning and end as the treatment group.