Step 1

Behavioral 15

A 21-year-old woman presents to a psychiatrist for an initial intake appointment. She reports decreased mood, decreased appetite, anhedonia, and difficulty concentrating for the past 2 weeks. Past medical history is significant for major depressive disorder (MDD), which has previously been treated with adequate trials of various selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). She states previous treatment “worked for a while, but then it just stopped working.” Her most recent episode of depressive symptoms was 6 months ago. She does not use any illicit substances, and her screening laboratory tests are unremarkable. The patient states she recently saw a commercial advertising a new antidepressant and asks if adding this drug to her current medications would prevent another MDD relapse. The data from a randomized controlled trial in which this new drug was used as an adjunct demonstrated that 15 percent of patients relapsed within 1 year, compared to 30 percent of patients in the placebo group.

Which of the following statements is most likely correct when comparing the protocol for the placebo group and the treatment group in this clinical trial?

  • A) The placebo group and treatment group received an equal dose of the new drug
  • B) The placebo group received a higher dose of the new drug than the treatment group
  • C) The placebo group received a lower dose of the new drug than the treatment group
  • D) The placebo group received no treatment for their MDD
  • E) The placebo group received only their pre-existing MDD regimen


Tyler Natof


Dr. Ted O'Connell