Tuesday, July 24, 2012

'Much of Naturopathic Medicine is Placebo': A Reported Fascinating Admission by NCNM's Zwickey

here, I cite from an 2012 article that claims that placebos are not, essentially, placebos but are 'therapy' and 'ethical' [see 001., below]:

001. the Portland Tribune states [NCNM is hosting this article] in "A Pill to Cure All Ills?  It's Just in Our Heads" (2012-07-05) [vsc 2012-07-19]:

"[as reported by Peter Korn] Heather Zwickey, dean of research at Portland's National College of Natural Medicine [vsc 2012-07-19] says that much of naturopathic medicine is indistinguishable from the placebo effect, and it would be unethical not to offer placebos to patients who might be helped [...] 'some people might think of those as placebos [...] for us it's therapy [...] our brains do it for us' [the caption on the picture states] when knowing too much can inhibit healing";

Note: wow, there is SO MUCH wrong with this.   Yet, it is now hosted at NCNM. Up at Science Based Medicine, Steve Novella had this to say about placebo in 2010:

"Hróbjartsson  and Gøtzsche have been studying the placebo effect for years, reviewing the literature, especially for trials that contain a no-treatment arm. Their most recent review is very illuminating. They conclude 'we did not find that placebo interventions have important clinical effects in general. However, in certain settings placebo interventions can influence patient-reported outcomes, especially pain and nausea, though it is difficult to distinguish patient-reported effects of placebo from biased reporting. The effect on pain varied, even among trials with low risk of bias, from negligible to clinically important. Variations in the effect of placebo were partly explained by variations in how trials were conducted and how patients were informed' [...that is] they found that when you look at any objective or clinically important outcome – the kinds of things that would indicate a real biological effect – there is no discernible placebo effect. There is no mind-over-matter self healing that can be attributed to the placebo effect."

I, personally, want REAL effects from interventions and I don't believe there is a benefit, ethically speaking, to what I'll call 'misinformed consent' / patient deception.


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