Identifying Placebo Effects with Data from Clinical Trials
AbstractA medical treatment is said to have placebo effects if patients who are optimistic about the treatment respond better to the treatment. This paper proposes a simple test for placebo effects. Instead of comparing the treatment and control arms of a single trial, one should compare the treatment arms of two trials with different probabilities of assignment to treatment. If there are placebo effects, patients in the higher-probability trial will experience better outcomes simply because they believe that there is a greater chance of receiving treatment. This paper finds evidence of placebo effects in trials of antiulcer and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 114 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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