Tag Archives: Latest

‘The easiest way to satisfy people is to operate’

surgery

A leading surgeon reveals how doctors perform UNNECESSARY surgery to stop patients complaining.

A surgeon has admitted to performing a number of operations that don’t yield results due to a widespread acceptance of the procedure and to avoid patient complaints.

Ian Harris, a Sydney Orthopaedic surgeon, who works at a number of hospitals including the University of NSW, said he has performed surgeries on patients that don’t work, reported theSydney Morning Herald.

In a new book, ‘Surgery, The Ultimate Placebo’, Professor Harris has noted that the only benefits some surgeries provide is the ‘placebo effect’.

Read more here.

So You Think You Know ‘Placebo’?

Placebo-Pills

It’s rare (but becoming more common) to find the placebo effect studied as a phenomenon in its own right. This carefully considered and researched article points to several perspectives …

1. There are two processes going on, the placebo and the placebo effect.
2. Placebo effects are not caused by the object (e.g. the pill) or the procedure (e.g. an injection)
3. Much of what is considered to be placebo improvement may actually be patient report of improvement, without any actual physical improvement.
4. The patient’s inaccurate perception of a successful treatment in the therapeutic environment is also influenced by:

The natural course of the disease
Concomitant treatments
The Hawthorne effect
Regression to the mean

5. The placebo effect is not “the power of positive thinking” or belief, hope, mind over matter or the mind healing the body

Does branding have a placebo effect?

Artist-Decorates-Sports-Emblems-With-Embroidered-Flowers4__880
Image: James Merry

It seems that using an esteemed name-brand piece of sporting equipment actually generates stronger results.

“Our results indicate that strong performance brands can cause an effect that is akin to a placebo effect,” researcher Frank Germann of the Department of Marketing at the University of Notre Dame said in a press release. “Our results also suggest that the use of a strong performance brand causes participants to feel better about themselves when undertaking a task—that is, to have greater task-specific self-esteem. This higher self-esteem lowers their performance anxiety which, in turn, leads to the better performance outcomes.”

Read more here. And here.

Which Countries Consume The Most Antidepressants?

antidepressants

It’s bad news if you’re Icelandic or Australian. Over at I Fucking Love Science they point out that “the report only covered the pharmaceutical habits of “developed countries.” Also, the United States – the original “Prozac Nation” – did not feature in this particular set of data. Separate data has shown 10% of Americans are prescribed antidepressants, which would put them second on this graph. We should also note that this is per thousand people, not by the total number consumed.”

Drug companies wine, dine and *educate* doctors about the drugs they prescribe

pusher

If a drug company treats a doctor to a nice lunch and a presentation on their newest products, is prescribing affected? Doctors generally think not, but the research evidence overwhelmingly says yes. And if these events do affect doctors’ decisions on patient care, should we be worried?

Couldn’t they just prescribe placebos? Of course not! Where’s the profit in that?