P303 Chapter 2

P303 Chapter 2 - P303 Chapter 2 Conducting Health Research...

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P303 Chapter 2 – Conducting Health Research The Placebo in Treatment and Research Treatment and the Placebo Therapeutic effect of placebo was substantial –35% of patients showed improvement Both physician and patient expectations can produce reduction in pain Physicians who appear positive and hopeful about treatment prompt stronger responses in their patients. Placebo responses are also related to other characteristics of the practitioner. (reputation, attention, interest, concern) Type of treatment is also a factor Big pills are more effective; 2 does are more effective; capsules are more effective Underlying cause of placebo effect has been the subject of intense debate and research Although improvements due to placebo have been assumed to be psychologically based, research suggest that the effect have physical as well as psychological basis Placebo can alter level of brain activity in ways that are consistent with the activity that occurs during pain relief from some real painkilling drugs Placebo surgery (sham surgery) also have some effectiveness in alleviating Parkinson’s disease Placebo have been found to reduce or cure wide range of symptoms These findings suggest that the underlying physiological mechanisms for placebo responses are the same as for real drug treatments Placebo can alter neurotransmitters, hormones and endorphins, potentially producing a variety of perceptual, behavioral and physical effects. Placebo can also produce adverse effects – nocebo effect Presence of negative effects demonstrates that the placebo effect is not merely improvement but includes any change resulting from receiving a treatment Recent research shows that nocebo response also activates specific areas of brain and act on neurotransmitters, giving additional support to its physical reality Expectancy is a major component of the placebo effect People act in ways that they think they should Thus, people who are treated without their knowledge do not benefit as much as those who know what to expect Cultural beliefs about what constitutes for effective treatment are important in eliciting a placebo response Learning and conditioning are also factors in placebo response
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Receiving treatment may elicit response that people have associated with such procedures Through classical and operant conditioning, people associate treatment with getting better, so creating such situating leads to improvements Thus, both expectancy + learning contribute to Placebo Effect In most situations, patient’s improvement may result from combination of treatment + placebo effect Placebo effects are a tribute to the ability of human to heal themselves, and pracctiitoner can enlist this ability to help patinets. .
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course PSY 303 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '11 term at Indiana.

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P303 Chapter 2 - P303 Chapter 2 Conducting Health Research...

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