Monday, February 16, 2009

Placebos, curing within...

I wanted to pass on two pieces on self curing and the placebo effect pointed out to me by a mindblog reader. Amanda Schaffer offers a review in Slate on Anne Harrington's new book "The Cure Within", which maps the history of mind-body medicine. Also, a recent study testing pain relief from analgesics shows that merely telling people that a novel form of codeine they were taking (actually a placebo) was worth $2.50 rather than 10 cents increased the proportion of people who reported pain relief from 61% to 85.4%.1 When the "price" of the placebo was reduced, so was the pain relief.

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