Search Results for "placebo"

  1. Cure Is About Caring, Not Curing: Placebos, Alternative Medicine, and Patient Comfort
    In a recent post, Dr. Gorski criticized two articles by Jo Marchant on placebos and alternative medicine. He mentioned that she had a book coming out and suggested I might want to review it. The title is Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body. I don’t know of any evidence that the…
  2. Is “harnessing the power of placebo” worthwhile to treat anything?
    We frequently write about placebo effects here on Science-Based Medicine. The reason is simple. They are an important topic in medicine and, at least as importantly, understanding placebo effects is critical to understanding the exaggerated claims of advocates of “complementary and alternativ…
  3. Are Placebos Getting Stronger?
    A new study looked at clinical trials for neuropathic pain over the last 23 years and found that the response of subjects in the placebo group has been increasing over time, but only in the United States. The cause of this increase is unknown, and has provoked a fascinating discussion about the natu…
  4. Placebo by Conditioning
    Truly understanding placebo effects (note the plural) is critical to science-based medicine. Misconceptions about placebo effects are perhaps the common problem I encounter among otherwise-scientific professionals and science communicators. The persistence of these misconceptions is due partly to th…
  5. Should placebos be used in randomized controlled trials of surgical interventions?
    Alone of all the regular contributors to this blog, I am a surgeon. Specifically, I’m a surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer surgery, which makes me one of those hyper-specialized docs that are sometimes mocked as not being “real” doctors. Of course, the road to my cu…
  6. Placebo, Are You There?
    By Jean Brissonnet, translation by Harriet Hall Note: This was originally published as “Placebo, es-tu là?” in Science et pseudo-sciences 294, p. 38-48. January 2011. It came to my attention in the course of an e-mail correspondence with the editors of that magazine, where one of my own…
  7. Using the fear of Ebola to promote the placebo legislation that is “right to try”
    Perhaps the most pervasive medical conspiracy theory of all involves stories that there exist out there all sorts of fantastic cures for cancer and other deadly diseases but you can’t have them because (1) “they” don’t want you to know about them (as I like to call it, the Kevin Trudeau app…
  8. Placebo Speculations
    From the Wikimedia Commons.   I have a new term to add to the English language, ebolasmacked, a derivative of the British term gobsmacked. Ebolasmacked defines my life the last few weeks since Ebola, or at last preparations for Ebola, have taken a huge bite out of my time with many interestin…
  9. Placebo effects are not the “power of positive thinking”
    Here we go again. I once said that, in the wake of study after study that fails to find activity of various “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) beyond that of placebo, CAM advocates are now in the midst of a “rebranding” campaign in which CAM is said to work throug…
  10. A Different Perspective: Placebo, SCAM, and Advertising
    Summertime, time, time Child, the living’s easy. Fish are jumping out And the handicap, Lord Handicaps high, Lord so high ~ Janis Joplin It is summer. Time for the kids and the outside, not the computer. What follows is a summertime blog entry, for which I admit to feeling guilty for the compa…
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