Impure placebo is a useless concept

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Louhiala , P , Hemilä , H & Puustinen , R 2015 , ' Impure placebo is a useless concept ' , Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics , vol. 36 , no. 4 , pp. 279-289 .

Title: Impure placebo is a useless concept
Author: Louhiala, Pekka; Hemilä, Harri; Puustinen, Raimo
Contributor organization: Clinicum
Pekka Louhiala / Principal Investigator
Department of Public Health
Harri Hemilä / Principal Investigator
Teachers' Academy
Date: 2015-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
ISSN: 1386-7415
Abstract: Placebos are allegedly used widely in general practice. Surveys reporting high level usage, however, have combined two categories, 'pure' and 'impure' placebos. The wide use of placebos is explained by the high level usage of impure placebos. In contrast, the prevalence of the use of pure placebos has been low. Traditional pure placebos are clinically ineffective treatments, whereas impure placebos form an ambiguous group of diverse treatments that are not always ineffective. In this paper, we focus on the impure placebo concept and demonstrate problems related to it. We also show that the common examples of impure placebos are not meaningful from the point of view of clinical practice. We conclude that the impure placebo is a scientifically misleading concept and should not be used in scientific or medical literature. The issues behind the concept, however, deserve serious attention in future research.
Subject: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
physician's practice patterns
physician-patient relations
placebo effect
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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