Placebo effect

Menopause In one study involving asthmapeople using a placebo inhaler did no better on breathing tests than sitting and doing nothing. How Does the Placebo Effect Work?

Placebo effect

Placebo Effect What is a placebo? A placebo pluh-SEE-bow is a substance or other kind of treatment that looks just like a regular treatment or medicine, but is not. What is the placebo effect?

This happens in up to 1 of 3 people. This effect usually lasts only a short time. But sometimes the effect goes the other way, and the placebo seems to cause unpleasant symptoms. Together, these 2 types of outcomes are sometimes called expectation effects.

This means that the person taking the placebo may experience something along the lines of what he or she expects to happen. If a person expects to feel better, that may happen.

If the person believes that he or she is getting a strong medicine, the placebo may be thought to cause the side effects.

Placebo effect

The placebo does not cause any of these effects directly. Some people can have the placebo effect without getting a pill, shot, or procedure. Some may just feel better from visiting the doctor or doing something else they believe will help. This type of placebo effect seems most related to the degree of confidence and faith the patient has in the doctor or activity.

The placebo effect can make some treatments seem like they help certain symptoms, when in fact they do nothing to directly cause a change in the disease. Other factors that are sometimes lumped in with the placebo effect can also make a treatment appear to help even when it does nothing for the illness.

Placebos may be used in clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies testing new drugs or other treatments in volunteers. If lab studies suggest the treatment will work, the next step is to test it on animals. If that also gives promising results, it may then be tested in clinical trials to see if it has value for humans.

The main questions the researchers want to answer are: Does this treatment work? What side effects does it cause? Do the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks? Which patients are most likely to find this treatment helpful?

If standard treatments for the disease are already available, the new treatment is usually compared to one of them. The main reason to have a placebo group is to be sure that any effects that happen are actually caused by the treatment and not some other factor.

This is not as big a problem in studies of cancer treatment, where objective outcome measures are most often used. If you would like to know more about clinical trials, see Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know.

Please read Informed Consent for more on this. Those who get placebos in medical studies serve an important role. Their responses help provide a good way to measure the actual effect of the treatment being tested. The placebo group provides an important baseline with which to compare the treatment group.

It helps researchers see what would have happened without the treatment, though both groups may still have some short-term effects based on what the patient expects.

On the other side, bad effects that were going to happen anyway, or that occur from some unrelated cause, may be blamed on the treatment unless they also happen to people in the placebo group.

How does the placebo effect work?The idea that the brain can convince the body a fake treatment is the real thing—the so-called placebo effect—and thus stimulate healing has been.

The placebo effect is a beneficial health outcome resulting from a person's anticipation that an intervention—pill, procedure, or injection, for example—will help them. What is the placebo effect?

Even though they don’t act on the disease, placebos affect how some people feel. This happens in up to 1 of 3 people. A change in a person’s symptoms as a result of getting a placebo is called the placebo effect.

Usually the term “placebo effect” speaks to the helpful effects a placebo has in relieving symptoms. Researchers at the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, have deepened the understanding of the placebo effect and its various.

Research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person's expectations.

The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia.

Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments.

How the Placebo Effect Works | HowStuffWorks