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No evidence that placebos have powerful clinical effects, study says

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 02 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1325
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Treatment with placebo may show small benefits when a study's outcomes are continuous and subjective, but placebo treatment has no significant effect on objective or binary outcomes, a new study has found.

    Dr Asbjçrn Hróbjartsson from the University of Copenhagen and a colleague, Dr Peter Gçtzsche, assessed the placebo effect by reviewing data from 114 trials in which the participants were randomised to receive placebo or no treatment. Thirty two trials used binary outcomes (where the results were yes or no, or 0 or 1) and 82 used continuous outcomes (where, for example, …

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