Intended for healthcare professionals


The healthy adherer and the placebo effect

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 29 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:18
  1. Betty Chewning, director (
  1. 1 Sonderegger Research Institute, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705-2222, USA

    Simpson and colleagues report their systematic review's finding that good adherence to placebos as well as to drug treatments is associated with reduced mortality.1 They hypothesise that this intriguing finding supports the concept of the “healthy adherer” effect, whereby adherence to drug treatment may be a surrogate marker for overall healthy behaviour.

    The potential benefits of any new treatment regimen arise in the context of patients' powerful lifestyle habits and resources, as well as their health status and their histories of health behaviour. In addition, a patient …

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