COJ Reviews & Research

The Importance of the Placebo Effect in the Treatment of Different Diseases: A Vision From General Medicine

  • Open or CloseJose Luis Turabian*

    Specialist in Family and Community Medicine, Spain

    *Corresponding author:Jose Luis Turabian, Specialist in Family and Community Medicine, Toledo, Spain

Submission: January 30, 2019;Published: February 07, 2019


Although there is currently no comprehensive list of placebo effectiveness for all major diseases, the clinician should be aware of the placebo effect in the intervention on clinical conditions where psychological factors are prominent, especially in acute, and postoperative pain, mental illnesses, functional digestive diseases, Parkinson’s disease, migraine, osteoarthrosis, symptoms secondary to chemotherapy, asthma, systemic hypertension, angina pectoris, silent myocardial ischemia, congestive heart failure and tachyarrhythmias. Since the effects of placebo contribute to the responses of the active drugs, it is feasible to increase the patients’ benefits of the treatments by increasing the additional placebo effect. There are several possibilities to use the effects of placebo in the consultation:

a) A positive environment of communication and doctor-patient relationship;

b) Stimulate positive expectations and minimize patient’s negative expectations; and

c) In addition to focusing on a “personalized” choice of drugs based on biomarkers or genes, it is the doctor-patient communication that must be adapted. Physicians should remain aware of the strength and meaning of both placebo and nocebo responses and why and how patients actually respond to health problem management strategies

Keywords:Placebo effect; Nocebo; Treatment effectiveness; Disease; Motivation; Physician-Patient relations

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