Reconsidering the placebo response

Published: December, 2010

Acupuncture studies provide new insights into how treatment context affects outcomes.

In scientific studies, the term placebo usually refers to an inert pill or procedure that serves as a comparison to an active intervention (typically a drug or psychotherapy). Now a handful of acupuncture studies not only provides additional evidence that a placebo itself can have dramatic impact on illness, but also suggest that the context in which an intervention takes place can bolster the placebo response.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »