ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter April 2014 (for journalists only).
How the placebo effect enhances healing
Researchers are working to better understand the placebo effect, how it works and how it can be harnessed to improve therapies. The April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers what’s known about this phenomenon and how it may work to improve health.
The placebo effect is most evident in medical research. It’s a person’s belief that an inactive treatment is working just as well as the presumed active therapy being studied. Well-intentioned medical advances, when compared to the placebo treatment, sometimes derive most of their benefit from positive expectations rather than the therapy itself.