Search Results for "placebos"

  1. 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…
  2. 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…
  3. 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 …
  4. 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…
  5. 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 …
  6. 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…
  7. 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…
  8. An Industry of Worthless Acupuncture Studies
    Even more interesting to me than the question of whether or not acupuncture is effective for any particular symptom is the meta-question of how acupuncture proponents have managed to promote a treatment with systematically terrible scientific data. A new study provides a fresh example of this, which…
  9. A homeopathic win for consumers
    Do you believe in magic? It might surprise you to learn that some people believe sugar pills have healing properties. This belief system, called homeopathy, is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and it’s growing. While there is no convincing evidence to demonstrate that homeopathic tr…
  10. Do You Believe in Magic? Oregon Does.
    Pictured: OHP and HERB picking “evidence-based treatment options” Do You Believe in Magic? Do you believe in magic for a back pains fix How the needles can free her, where ever it pricks And it’s magic, if the chi is groovy It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie I’l…
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