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What Are the Benefits of a New Placebo Language?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-411
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2018

Abstract

This article examines three common strategies for dealing with the problems generated by the terms placebo and "placebo effect." These strategies are to redefine, to reconceptualize, and to eliminate our placebo language. The promise of these strategies is that a new language for talking about placebo phenomena may deliver clinical, ethical, and methodological advances. However, the nature and impact of these advances is rarely explored in detail. This article surveys some of the promised benefits of new terms such as "meaning response" and "contextual healing." The benefits are broadly similar across these strategies, but while they allow for clearer descriptions of phenomena and wider appreciation of the contextual aspects of medical practice, the open challenge for these strategies is not just to promise, but to show, the practical significance of their approaches to understanding placebo phenomena.

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Project Muse at https://doi.org/10.1353/pbm.2018.0052 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 118 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC

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