NM  Vol.3 No.2 , June 2012
Modification of the Brief Smell Identification Test by Introduction of a Placebo
Objective: To introduce the concept that there might be “nothing to smell” to the Brief Smell Identification Test (B-SIT), with a view to masking olfactory deficits, particularly from healthy control participants in research studies. Methods: Seventy-one elderly individuals, healthy for their age, were recruited to the study. They were blindfolded and carried out a modified B-SIT where one item had been replaced with a placebo, and one odour alternative answer to three other items was replaced by the alternative “none/other” (actual odour unchanged). Results: There was no overall difference in the median or mean score achieved by the cohort compared to results obtained previously using the conventional B-SIT. The replacement of the item “turpentine” with a placebo resulted in an improved score for the item in a Norwegian setting. The overall scores were not improved. Conclusions: It is possible to introduce the concept that there may be “nothing to smell” to the B-SIT without compromising the test for healthy control individuals. This may be a more appropriate approach to olfactory testing of control individuals or patients with suspected early neurodegenerative diseases.

Cite this paper
G. Kjelvik, O. Bosnes, R. Omli, L. Heidi Skotnes, A. K. Håberg and L. R. White, "Modification of the Brief Smell Identification Test by Introduction of a Placebo," Neuroscience and Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 125-129. doi: 10.4236/nm.2012.32017.
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