Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The Placebo Blocker

Courtesy of xkcd.

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Improving Placebo Effectiveness at Kaiser

I went to my first physician appointment as a member of Kaiser.  I received a primary care visit and got lab work done within 30 minutes.  The whole process was incredibly efficient.  I notice the Kaiser docs and nurses followed best practices.  Further, the check-in process was very organized and my doctor could access my […]

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More Expensive Placebos Bring More Pain Relief

Why do placebo’s work?  They work because the patient’s mind believes they offer relief and thus patient perception of pain decreases after taking a placebo.  A study by Dan Ariely finds that the more expensive the placebo, the more pain relief it offers.  In particular, a $2.50 placebo works better one that costs 10 cents. Medical […]

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Physicians prescribing placebos

Placebos are important for medical research.  In order to determine if a certain pharmaceutical is effective, researchers compare medical outcomes between one group given the drug and another given a placebo. But should physicians give placebos to patients outside of clinical trials?  The Economist magazine reports (“Great Expectations“) on the phenomenon that many physicians are […]

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