Search Results for "placebos"

  1. 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…
  2. 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 …
  3. 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…
  4. 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 …
  5. 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…
  6. 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…
  7. Another Review Finds Homeopathy Worthless
    Just say “NO” to homeopathy. Available at skeptoid.com. It is long past time to close the door on homeopathy. After thousands of studies, homeopaths are still unable to produce convincing evidence that homeopathy works for any indication. Multiple reviews of the evidence have come to t…
  8. 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…
  9. How Not to Treat Migraine
    Image credit: Wellcome Images, Wellcome Library, London, via Wikimedia Commons. Last week I gave a quick overview of standard treatment options for migraine, a severe form of recurrent headaches. As promised, this week I will address some common treatments for migraine that I don’t think are…
  10. Acupuncture, Organic Food, and Other Questions
    SBM frequently receives questions from readers asking for more information or even challenging our position on various topics. We make extensive efforts to answer such questions, since engaging with the public is one of the primary purposes of this blog. In fact, I specifically chose the blog format…
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