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Letters Placebo effect

Implementing placebo

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1087
  1. David E Linden, professor of biological psychiatry
  1. 1School of Psychology, Bangor University and North Wales Clinical School, Bangor LL572AS
  1. d.linden{at}

Pittrof and Rubinstein make the important point that the “placebo effect” is actually an effect—people often do get better on placebo.1 However, most, if not all, of the evidence for placebo effects comes from studies where patients expected to have a reasonable chance (generally 0.5) of receiving the active treatment. There is therefore no evidence base for prescribing placebos in a …

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