From the Back Cover
The result is a new look at placebos, one that calls for careful consideration of the complex ethical issues involved in exploiting placebo effects, but sees their potential as therapeutic allies in clinical practice.
The chapters serve as an essential practical and theoretical guide to practitioners, researchers, bioethicists, patients, and students who want a comprehensive review of the state of placebo science and placebo-controlled clinical trials. They include:
- The historical context and ethical perspectives
- Explanatory psychosocial and physiological mechanisms (for example, social and cultural meanings, classic conditioning, social learning, intervening psychophysiology)
- The need to distinguish placebo effects from biological and statistical artifacts
- Issues concerning the use of placebo groups in clinical trials: ethics, methodological issues, pros, cons, and alternatives
- Priorities for future research
The publication of this book has important implications for clinical medicine, making it essential reading for clinical researchers, basic scientists and health care practitioners.