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Article on surgery as placebo

ladycatlover

Senior Member
Messages
203
Location
Liverpool, UK

Mithriel

Senior Member
Messages
690
Location
Scotland
These things really annoy me. When you cut into the body a whole cascade of responses is evoked. The things that heal the skin and blood vessels and all the rest of it flood to the spot and it is just as likely that they mend the bits of broken muscles or whatever that is causing your pain in the first place.

It's like having a toaster fire in the kitchen. When you redecorate you cover that dirty mark on the wall that has been there for years.

I am sure that is just as likely as the smell of chloroform and needles! Or it could be that the enforced rest gives the body a chance to heal, who knows.

These "placebo effects" are dodgy. I know people who have done painkiller trials and they all answered "helps a little bit" because they did not want to disprove something that might help someone else.

There may be interesting science here, but it is used to "prove" the power of the mind over the body, and to reduce the cost of helping people and, of course, we all know how meticulous psychologists are when they do a scientific trial :)
 

RogerBlack

Senior Member
Messages
902
The cautions about 'power of placebo' are somewhat orthogonal to real and valid concerns about surgeries that seem logical, but do not in fact improve outcome at 12 months, compared to people who have not had the surgery.

Add this to concerns that any transient improvement may in fact be self-reporting bias driven, in many trials, rather than the psychogenic healing power of placebo (or indeed induced physiological changes by a nearby wound), and this is an argument very different from trying to reduce surgical costs.
 

ladycatlover

Senior Member
Messages
203
Location
Liverpool, UK
The cautions about 'power of placebo' are somewhat orthogonal to real and valid concerns about surgeries that seem logical, but do not in fact improve outcome at 12 months, compared to people who have not had the surgery.

Add this to concerns that any transient improvement may in fact be self-reporting bias driven, in many trials, rather than the psychogenic healing power of placebo (or indeed induced physiological changes by a nearby wound), and this is an argument very different from trying to reduce surgical costs.

Please put this in plain English as I am not able to understand your comment.
 
Messages
13,774
I think I saw a different article covering the same paper which had some really credulous 'power or placebo' stuff. It just makes such a fun story for journalists!