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Table 1 Standardized mean differences (SMD) for changes from baseline in the three treatment arms separately.

From: Spontaneous improvement in randomised clinical trials: meta-analysis of three-armed trials comparing no treatment, placebo and active intervention

  No. of patients No. of treatment arms SMD (95% confidence interval) I2 (%)
No treatment Overall 978 37 -0.24 (-0.36 to -0.12) 25
   Depression 42 3 -0.44 (-1.27 to 0.39) 70
   Nausea 60 2 -0.63 (-0.97 to -0.30) 0
   Pain – acute 63 5 -0.53 (-1.03 to -0.02) 49
   Pain – chronic 265 11 -0.10 (-0.27 to 0.06) 0
   Phobia 28 3 -0.39 (-0.91 to 0.12) 3
   Smoking 391 2 -0.40 (-0.54 to 0.26) 0
   Obesity 46 5 -0.02 (-0.41 to 0.36) 0
   Insomnia 83 6 0.03 (-0.27 to 0.33) 0
Placebo Overall 849 37 -0.44 (-0.61 to -0.28) 57
   Depression 44 3 -0.54 (-1.53 to 0.44) 80
   Nausea 59 2 -1.02 (-1.37 to -0.66) 0
   Pain – acute 62 5 -0.48 (-1.03 to 0.07) 57
   Pain – chronic 241 11 -0.32 (-0.59 to -0.04) 54
   Phobia 32 3 -0.85 (-1.35 to -0.36) 0
   Smoking 272 2 -0.58 (-1.37 to 0.22) 78
   Obesity 58 5 -0.17 (-0.52 to 0.18) 0
   Insomnia 81 6 -0.31 (-0.61 to 0.00) 0
Active treatment Overall 1073 52 -1.01 (-1.16 to -0.86) 57
   Depression 49 3 -1.27 (-1.91 to -0.62) 53
   Nausea 60 2 -1.39 (-2.58 to -0.23) 87
   Pain – acute 61 5 -2.12 (-3.01 to -1.24) 73
   Pain – chronic 373 17 -0.81 (-1.03 to -0.59) 52
   Phobia 48 5 -1.15 (-1.67 to -0.63) 33
   Smoking 275 3 -0.99 (-1.16 to -0.81) 0
   Obesity 61 5 -0.53 (-1.23 to 0.17) 73
   Insomnia 146 12 -1.06 (-1.30 to -0.82) 0