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BMJ. 1995 Aug 26;311(7004):551-3.

Concept of true and perceived placebo effects.

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  • 1Centre for Complementary Health Studies, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter.

Abstract

We often and wrongly equate the response seen in the placebo arm of a clinical trial with the placebo effect. In order to obtain the true placebo effect, other non-specific effects can be identified by including an untreated control group in clinical trials. A review of the literature shows that most authors confuse the perceived placebo effect with the true placebo effect. The true placebo effect is highly variable, depending on several factors that are not fully understood. A distinction between the perceived and the true placebo effects would be helpful in understanding the complex phenomena involved in a placebo response.

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PMID:
7663213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2550609
Free PMC Article
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