Menu Close

Articles on Placebo

Displaying 1 - 20 of 35 articles

The Washington National Cathedral hosted a public vaccination event in March 2021 to help demonstrate trust by faith leaders of all denominations in the COVID-19 vaccines. Alex Wong/Getty Images

For some people, religious leaders might be most effective at communicating the importance of COVID-19 vaccination

Two political scientists in their study in South Dakota found people trusted medical professionals the least when it came to public health messages.
The concept of placebos – which are sometimes called “sugar pills” – has been around since the 1800s. Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

In research studies and in real life, placebos have a powerful healing effect on the body and mind

Drug manufacturers often shun the use of placebos in clinical trials. But research suggests that placebos could play an important role in the treatment of depression, pain and other maladies.
Clinical trials are important, but can’t get us to medicine prescribing that is 100% effective. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock.com

Why drug trials are only part of the answer to making sure medicines work

Clinical trials are used to establish that medicines work. But these don’t take into account the genetic differences between us that can mean very different outcomes for different patients.
How much of an ice bath is a placebo? Andreas Nilsson/Flickr

Ice bath after exercise? The benefits might be in your head

Whether an athlete has endured the repeated joint stresses of a marathon run, or the relentless battery of hits during a football match, many will opt for a post-activity polar plunge into an ice-cold…
Vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea are common chemotherapy side effects that can be so severe that patients may refuse further treatment. Emergency Brake/Flickr

Why placebos for chemotherapy side effects are hard to swallow

It’s unthinkable to give a placebo to someone to treat their cancer, but could we use one to treat chemotherapy’s well-known side effects? Unfortunately, we may never be able to answer this question because…
A growing body of research suggests placebos may be as good as real drugs for treating depression. Victor/Flickr

Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them?

Seventeenth-century Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s lifework, The Anatomy of Melancholy, weighs in at a door-stopping 1,400 pages. But his cure for the “Black Choler” of depression came down to just six…

Top contributors

More