Search Results for "placebos"

  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. 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…
  3. 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…
  4. Benedetti on Placebos
    There has been an ongoing debate about placebos on SBM, both in the articles and in the comments. What does it mean that a treatment has been shown to be “no better than placebo?”  If our goal is for patients to feel better and they feel better with placebos, why not prescribe them? Do placebos…
  5. Spin City: Using placebos to evaluate objective and subjective responses in asthma
    As I type this, I’m on an airplane flying home from The Amazing Meeting 9 in Las Vegas. Sadly, I couldn’t stay for Sunday; my day job calls as I’ll be hosting a visiting professor. However, I can say—and with considerable justification, I believe—that out little portion of TAM …
  6. Placebos as Medicine: The Ethics of Homeopathy
    Is it ever ethical to provide a placebo treatment? What about when that placebo is homeopathy? Last month I blogged about the frequency of placebo prescribing by physicians.  I admitted my personal discomfort, stating I’d refuse to dispense any prescription that would require me to deceive th…
  7. Incorporating Placebos into Mainstream Medicine
    Alternative medicine by definition is medicine that has not been shown to work any better than placebo. Patients think they are helped by alternative medicine. Placebos, by definition, do “please” patients. We would all like to please our patients, but we don’t want to lie to them. Is there a …
  8. Do physicians really believe in placebos?
    In a previous post, I argued that placebo is an artifact of certain clinical interactions, rather than a treatment that we can exploit. Apparently, there are a whole lot of doctors out there who don’t agree with me. Or are there? A recent study published in the British Medical Journal is get…
  9. Placebos in the news again
    Towards the end of last week, I was contemplating what I would be writing about for Monday. No topic had quite floated my boat, but I hated to dip into the archive of topics I’ve written about before to update a post. After all, I like to be topical whenever possible. Then what to my wondering…
  10. A systematic review about nothing
    There is dubious content in PubMed that you won’t find unless you look for it, or stumble across it inadvertently. It’s the entire field of alternative medicine which is abstracted and complied along with the actual medical literature. In this world, the impossible is accepted as fact, …
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