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Diluted treatment effects?
  2. D C DACAN
  1. Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  2. doc{at}

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Editor,—If my reading of this colic study is correct, it appears that both groups received standard counselling and recommendations for the care of a colicky child. My question to the authors is, if standard recommendations are effective in the reduction of colic, does this not raise the possibility that any treatment effect in the SMT group could have been diluted by the introduction of a second active treatment (standard recommendations) in the control group? Put another way, was the placebo intervention an inert intervention or was it a second active intervention?