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. 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…
  9. Should physicians and managed care organizations offer homeopathy?
    Anyone who reads Science-Based Medicine on even a semi-regular basis will know our collective opinion of homeopathy. Basically, at its core, homeopathy is pure quackery. I don’t care if it’s repetitive to say this yet again because it can’t be emphasized enough times that homeopat…
  10. It’s time for pharmacies to stop selling sugar pills
    Some of these products contain no medicine at all. Retail pharmacies have a sugar pill problem. Homeopathic “remedies” may look like conventional medicine when they’re stocked on pharmacy shelves, like the photo above. But unlike conventional medicine, homeopathic products don…
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