An interesting mystery

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Patient Care | 0 comments

An interesting mystery

Study Suggests Placebo Benefits

CNN (10/27, Scutti) reports that findings from “a new study published in…Pain suggest that a placebo can have real, even profound, physical benefits.” The study’s participants, all of whom had chronic lower back pain, were divided into two groups, one of which continued to receive nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and another that “received their usual pain drugs as well as placebo pills in a typical prescription medicine bottle.” These participants “were told that a placebo pill contained no medication, and the bottle’s label read ‘Placebo pills. Take 2 pills twice a day.’”

The NPR (10/27, Hobson) “Shots” blog reports that the investigators “found that people who received the placebo saw their scores for both usual and maximum pain levels drop by 30 percent, compared to 9 percent and 16 percent declines for the control group.” Additionally, “the placebo group…reported a 29 percent reduction in their score for difficulty in performing daily activities, while the control group saw no change.”


What is not discussed in the study is how long the beneficial effects lasted. Initial improvement is a common finding when people first start taking any of a number of different supplement and homeopathic remedies that have been recommended to them: after an initial phase of symptom relief, the apparent daily effectiveness wears off as the weeks go by and is usually gone within months.

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