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J Clin Psychol. 2007 Apr;63(4):401-3; discussion 405-8.

The placebo effect: "relatively large" and "robust" enough to survive another assault.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA.


The evidence related to the placebo effect is discussed, and it is emphasized that the descriptors "relatively large" and "robust" are appropriate in the context in which they were used. Basic science and clinical trials, when interpreted properly, have revealed that the placebo effect is indeed a real phenomenon. J. Hunsley and R. Westmacott (this issue) as well as A. Hróbjartsson and P. C. Gøtzsche (this issue) are concerned that B. E. Wampold, T. Minami, S. C. Tierney, T. W. Baskin, and K. S. Bhati (2005) overstated the clinical effects of placebo when it was never B. E. Wampold et al.'s (2005) intention to make inferences about clinical utility; however, it is shown that the placebo effect exceeds many accepted medical interventions.

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