Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How good are placebo devices

The pills lose out to devices in terms of placebo effect.

The 1st Feb. 2006 BMJ carried an interesting study comparing the placebo effects of a sham acupunture needle, to placebo pills. After the run in periods, where the placebo effects as in subjective pain scores were identical, over the longer 6 weeks of the trials, the sham device was clearer more "placebo-ic" then the pills. It was also interesting to note that the authors also concluded that whatever adverse events were discussed at the consent, were also reported more frequently at the follow up.

What does this mean. Well, it could be that it is easier to convince patients of placebo effects if you use a device, or do something physical, rather than using a pill. Doing something sells better (isn't this true). Also, if you want adverse events reported, suggest it during the consent stage. Isn't that true? Well now we have some evidence. It was a small study, 270 patients only, but otherwise, quite a well carried out study.

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments: