Wandering Thoughts

July 16, 2011

Ouch!

Filed under: Reactive Arthritis — terence @ 7:32 am

An interesting article in the Economist about alternative therapies and the placebo effect.

Giving pretend painkillers, for instance, can reduce the amount of pain a patient experiences. A study carried out in 2002 suggested that fake surgery for arthritis in the knee provides similar benefits to the real thing.

and

Despite the power of placebos, many conventional doctors are leery of prescribing them. They worry that to do so is to deceive their patients. Yet perhaps the most fascinating results in placebo research—most recently examined by Ted Kaptchuk and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School, in the context of irritable-bowel syndrome—is that the effect may persist even if patients are told that they are getting placebo treatments.

! – although I wonder if the weren’t just capturing some form of regression to the mean here?

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