Navigation Links
Almost Half of Doctors Have Prescribed Placebos

Many physicians believe the mind can affect the body's health, researchers say

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of Chicago internists say they have prescribed a placebo to a patient during their years of practice, a new study finds.

A majority of doctors in the study also said they believed in the power of placebos, indicating that doctors do accept a mind-body relationship that can affect health, the researchers said.

A placebo, often referred to as a "sugar pill," has no medicinal qualities.

A University of Chicago research team sent surveys about placebo use to 466 internists at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois -- Chicago. Half of the recipients responded, and 45 percent of the respondents reported giving a patient a placebo at least once during their years of practice.

"Placebos have been used in medicine since ancient times and remain both clinically relevant and philosophically interesting. In addition to their recognized use as controls in clinical trials, this study suggests that placebos themselves are viewed as therapeutic tools in medical practice," co-author Rachel Sherman, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

Of the doctors who said they had prescribed a placebo, one in three (34 percent) said they told their patient the placebo was "a substance that may help and will not hurt."

One in five (19 percent) told their patient "it is medication" and one in 10 (9 percent) said "it is medicine with no specific effect."

Four percent of the doctors who prescribed placebos told their patient they were prescribing a placebo.

Just over one in 10 (12 percent) of the doctors who answered the survey said doctors should be prevented from prescribing placebos. According to the research team, the use of placebos is ethically debatable. Some ethicists argue patients should know they are being given a placebo, but others see no problem with the placebo effect. The placebo effect means that some patients will get better either spontaneously or because they believe they are being treated, not because of the medicine itself.

Almost all the respondents (96 percent) said they believed placebos could be therapeutic for patients. The majority also believed in the possibility of positive psychological and physiological benefits of meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, prayer, spirituality, a good social support system, good doctor-patient rapport, and the interior design of the health care environment.

The study was published in the January issue the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

More information

To learn more about placebos, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

-- Madeline Vann

SOURCE: University of Chicago Medical Center, news release, Jan. 3, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer Killed Almost 8 Million Worldwide in 2007
2. Almost Family Announces Expansion of Revolving Credit Facility
3. Almost 1 in 5 Americans Going Without Health Care
4. Almost 2 Million U.S. Vets Lack Health Insurance
5. Doctors Applaud SCHIP Veto: Bill Supports Special Interests, Not Kids; Almost Half of Funds Go to Doctors & Seniors
6. Almost 90 percent of children reported experiencing sexual violence
7. Almost Family Named One of Ten Best Newcomers to Forbes Magazine 200 Best Small Companies
8. Almost a Third of U.S. Kids Use Supplements
9. Doctors Group Sues Texas Medical Board for Misconduct; Cites Institutional Culture of Retaliation & Intimidation
10. RNs Statement on Death of Nataline Sarkisyan: CIGNA Should Have Listened to her Doctors and Approved the Transplant a Week Ago
11. Busting Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Almost Half of Doctors Have Prescribed Placebos
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Olympic Gold ... are collaborating with brands across various categories through traditional and social media marketing ... an elite group of Gold Medal Moms who can connect with today’s most ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors ... Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in estate sales and ... than 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. , “I’m pleased to welcome ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Being a caregiver for someone ... Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program promotes the health and wellbeing ... job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as a caregiver has created marital ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of ... Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Museum ... summer, ushering in a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, by ... continue to offer guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s main ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today that Matt Hogan , Chief ... Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, December 8 ... is being held at the Westin Grand ... also be available for one-on-one meetings at ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Next week, December ... of Things (DoT ) co-located events covering the latest ... Internet of Things, will draw more than 3,000 design ... Convention Center. The events, combined show floor will ... --> --> ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nautilus Medical Inc. today announced worldwide availability of MatrixRay, ... The release of MatrixRay to the entire medical healthcare ... America) in Chicago - the ... --> --> MatrixRay is the first ... worldwide via a peer-to-peer exchange network of physicians and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: