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The Science of the Placebo: Toward an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7351.1460 (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1460
  1. Anton J M de Craen, epidemiologist, department of general internal medicine
  1. Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Eds Harry A Guess, Arthur Kleinman, John W Kusek, Linda W Engel

    BMJ Books, £15.95, pp 343


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    ISBN 0 7279 1594 0

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    Most doctors are aware of placebos and the placebo effect, but probably few have given the subject any serious thought. Perhaps studying the use of placebos is incompatible with pursuing a “serious medical career.” Perhaps we think we already know why placebos are used in clinical research. Or perhaps we do not question the existence of placebo effects in medicine simply because we think we know that the placebo effect is there. So why should we …

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