Placebo Effect Case Studies

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General Introduction

A placebo is a fake treatment given to a patient which does not affect the actual illness but rather the mind. The placebo produces positive results from the patient, due to their belief that they were receiving a treatment that would heal them. The change in the patient’s condition due to the placebo is known as the placebo effect. The placebo extends to the point that when a person is just simply told that they have an illness, they experience symptoms of the actual illness.(1)

researchers have found that placebo treatment, containing no active medication , can cause real physiological responses in people to occur. Theses changes range from changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity
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These views have been gradually converging into the current idea that defines the placebo response as a set of complex psycho-neurobiological events built up from both verbally induced expectation and learning processes such as conditioning or social learning, and directed by emotions, motivation and attitude.(3)
It is well known that placebo analgesia can arise from the description of an effect that merely by creating the expectation of pain relief, it actually induces it. Similarly, the remembrance of previous circumstances of pain relief can build up an expectation of an outcome that ends up occurring; however, this can also be interpreted as an unconscious learned
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(pill or needle, for example).
Patients who receive close attention and care from doctors , will react much better to treatments administered , compared to those with little interactions with doctors. The mere belief that patients will be receiving medication to improve their conditions , will improve their condition, and in addition they will even experiance the side effects of the fale treatmeants.
Scope of research
The aim will be tested by analysing the rooms in which placebo tratmeants are administered , wether the physical surroundings are calm or unsetteling and whether the doctors are caring or curt and wether interactions with close attention to patients verses those with very little attention would affect the outcome of the patient. As well as analysing how placebo affect can cure patients , and how just believing one will experience certain side effects can physically induce those side affects.
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