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Modern Research into The Placebo Effect, and its Ethical Implications
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Placebos have been used in medical treatments since the dawn of medicine. The placeboeffect is referred to as a beneficial effect of a treatment which cannot be attributed to thepharmacological component of the treatment given.

Aim and Method

We attempt to understand the current research regarding the placebo effect, its mechanismsand driving factors. We utilize hermeneutics, text-based analytics and argument analysis toanswer our ethical questions regarding the usage of placebo and the placebo effect.

Results

Classical conditioning and expectation have been accredited as the two most prominentfactors driving a placebo effect. Recent research focuses on identifying minor factorsinfluencing these prominent factors. Through modern imaging techniques researchers haveidentified physiological responses to the placebo effect.We pose four different ways in which a placebo treatment option could be considered ineveryday medicine. We also discuss whether the placebo effect should be used for itsbeneficial effects in all medical treatments, and how this could affect medicine and healthcarepractitioners.

Conclusion

Current research provides us with substantial evidence that the placebo effect has aphysiological component. It also provides us with explanations as to how this effect can beutilized in every day medical care. The placebo effect can even be utilized without deceivingthe patient which has always been the biggest argument against incorporating it in day to daymedicine. However, there is still lacking evidence of when a placebo effect can be utilized toits full potential which limits its current clinical applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Placebo, Placebo Effect, Classical Conditioning, Expectation, Medical Ethics
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-73000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-73000DiVA, id: diva2:1294409
Subject / course
Medicine
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-03-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf