Yes, it is fun to hear about experiments in which people can be fooled into feeling better, or worse.
But more importantly, this professor and psychologist discusses how a patient’s attitude, and a physician’s warmth and (apparent) competence, can impact our response to treatment. Both medical professionals and patients can learn from this research.
More controversially, she also hints that a focus on side effects could, done wrong, hinder treatment. She notes: “The mere fear of side effects makes those effects more likely.” And asks: “How can we inform patients of risks or side effects without causing unnecessary suffering?” That topic could spark fascinating debate.
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[Last updated 11-20-2019]