THOMAS A. PRESTON, M.D.
To the editor: The paper by Brody (1) on placebos is timely and informative, and should be read by all clinicians. I wish to add four points.
The placebo effect usually is not recognized (2). Most treatments work because of a placebo effect, and not because of biological efficacy. All treatments, including surgery and potent drugs, have placebo effects. Most physicians do not recognize this, but attribute patient responses to direct biological effects of treatments in which the physicians believe. When physicians first dispensed drugs for the relief of angina pectoris, they did not recognize the placebo nature of their
PRESTON TA. Placebos. Ann Intern Med. ;97:781. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-5-781
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(5):781.
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