Placebo is used to describe any form of treatment where patients are led to believe that they’re experiencing a beneficial procedure or receiving a curative agent, while in reality they’re given something that has no known healing properties.
The placebo can be as simple as a sugar pill or common saline solution or as complex as an actual surgery during which nothing is done. In other words, while the patients have agreed to participate in a medical study, they may not know precisely what their role in it will be. To test the placebo effect, they may undergo all of the experiences of surgery—including anesthesia, incisions, and sutures—while in reality nothing is added, taken away, or changed. Continue Reading