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Clinical use of placebo treatments may undermine the trust of patients: a response to Gold and Lichtenberg
  1. Pekka Louhiala1,
  2. Harri Hemilä1,
  3. Raimo Puustinen2
  1. 1Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tamepre, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pekka Louhiala, Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 41, Helsinki 00014, Finland; pekka.louhiala{at}helsinki.fi

Abstract

There is an obvious need for a critical discussion of the concepts ‘placebo’ and ‘placebo effect’. In a recent paper on the use of placebos in clinical medicine, Gold and Lichtenberg note the conceptual difficulties but use the terminology in a confused way throughout their paper. In our response, we demonstrate these problems with a few examples from their paper.

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