Placebos: can you get something for nothing?
Moerman defines the placebo effect as a meaningful and desirable psychological and physiological effect of treatment. In typical randomised control trials (RCTs) patients are randomly allocated to active treatment, placebo treatment and no treatment groups. If the placebo group does substantially better than the no treatment group, the difference is the placebo effect. Such trials show that all interventions, from a simple history taking to invasive testing, may have therapeutic value.
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