Friday, October 24, 2008

Doctors Use Placebos

A new survey reveals that half of American doctors use placebos regularly. This data is similar to studies done in Britain, Denmark, Israel and New Zealand. Research has shown that placebos do work so it's not surprising that doctors turn to them in some situations. Using vitamins, headache pills and other products they're trying to activate the patient's own healing system.

If you ever hear your doctor say this is "a medicine not typically used for your condition but might benefit you" then you may be getting a placebo. The good news over the last few years is that the better the placebo, the better the results for patients.

One of the primary attacks on complementary and alternative medicine is that it's nothing more than a placebo ... and now we discover that even doctors use placebos to help patients! Is this talking out of both sides of your mouth?

The study is being published in BMJ, formerly The British Medical Journal.

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