Placebo effects

People who believe that a treatment will help to relieve their symptoms may well experience improvements in their condition – even though the treatment, in fact, has no active ingredient.


JLL Essay
1.2 Why treatment comparisons are essential

 

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Papin D (1704)
123. Papin an Leibniz. In: Gerland E (1881) Leibnizens und Huygens’ Briefwechsel mit Papin. Berlin:Verlag der Koniglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. pp 328-330.

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Smellie W (1752)
A treatise on the theory and practice of Midwifery. 2nd edition. London: D. Wilson, T Durham, p 224.

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Pierce R (1763)
Quoted in Sutherland A. Attempts to revive ancient medical doctrines Volume 1. London: A Millar, pp xxiii-xxiv.

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Cullen W (1772)
Clinical lectures. Edinburgh, Feb-April, 218-219.

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Commission Royale. Bailly A (1784)
Rapport des commissaires chargés par le Roi, de l'examen du magnétisme animale [Report of the Comissioners required by the King to examine animal magnetism]. Imprimé par ordre du Roi. Paris: A Paris, de L'Imprimerie Royale.

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Gordon A (1788)
The practice of physick. Unpublished manuscript.

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Hunter J (1788)
A treatise on the venereal disease. London: G Nicol and J Johnson, pp 69-70.

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Trotter T (1792)
Observations on the scurvy. London: Longman, pp 137-138, 184.

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Ministry of Internal Affairs (1832)
[Conclusion of the Medical Council regarding homeopathic treatment] . Zhurnal Ministerstva Vnutrennih del;3:49-63.

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Hunter J (1835)
The works of John Hunter FRS, edited by James F Palmer, Vol 1. London: Longman et al., p 360.

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Forbes J (1846)
Homoeopathy, allopathy and “young physic”. British and Foreign Medical Review 225-265.

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Flint A (1863)
A contribution toward the natural history of articular rheumatism; consisting of a report of thirteen cases treated solely with palliative measures. American Journal of the Medical Sciences 46:17-36.

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Sutton HG (1865)
Cases of rheumatic fever treated for the most part by mint water. Guy’s Hospital Reports 2:392-428.

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Moll A (1891)
Hypnotism. London: Walter Scott, p 224.

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Rivers WHR (1908)
The influence of alcohol and other drugs on fatigue. London: Edward Arnold.

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Bahnsen P, Jacobsen E, Thesleff H (1938)
Studien über die Wirkung von beta-phenyl-isopropylaminsulfdat (Mecodrin) auf normale Menschen. [Studies on the effect of beta-phenyl-isopropylaminsulfdat (Mecodrin) on normal volunteers]. Klinische Wochenschrift 17:1074-1078.

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Kerr DNS, Davidson S (1958)
Gastrointestinal intolerance to oral iron preparations. Lancet 2:489-492.

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Wartolowska K, Judge A, Hopewell S, Collins GS, Dean BJF, Rombach I, Brindley D, Savulescu J, Beard DJ, Carr AJ (2014)
Use of placebo controls in the evaluation of surgery: systematic review. BMJ 348:g3253. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3253.

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Wartolowska KA, Collins GS, Hopewell S, Judge A, Dean BJF, Rombach I, Beard DJ, Carr AJ (2016)
Feasibility of surgical randomised controlled trials with a placebo arm: a systematic review. BMJ Open 6: p.e010194.

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Marson Smith P, Colquhoun D, Chalmers I (2019).
John Henry Gaddum’s 1940 guidance on controlled clinical trials JLL Bulletin: Commentaries on the history of treatment evaluation.

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JLL Book of EssaysHave you read the James Lind Library's Introduction to Fair Tests of Treatments?

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