Thursday, November 18, 2010

Had I participated in the Pagaclone trial

Over the last months, I felt that my fluency has improved. I recently realized that had I participated in the Pagoclone trials, I would be written:
Hey guys, I took part in the trial months ago, and I noticed that my fluency has improved. Pagoclone is definitely working for me. I think you should try it out. But of course I am not saying that it works for all.

1 comment:

Ora said...

I agree with your general implication, that we have to be careful about putting too much reliance on anecdotal reports. However, we shouldn't discount them entirely.

People are familiar with their own history, and they know how much their stuttering varies over time. If someone undergoes a treatment - such as pagoclone - and reports that their speech subsequently improved beyond their historical variability, it's not unreasonable to think that there's some relation between their speech improvement and the treatment.

Of course, certainty about causation can come only through large-scale trials. (By certainty I mean statistical certainty, i.e., a well-founded confidence to a high degree of probability.) But we shouldn't discount anecdotal reports entirely.