HomeHealthPlacebo effect: what is it and how to implement it in health?
Placebo effect: what is it and how to implement it in health?
December 29, 2020
In the course of a human being's life, taking medicine has become quite common. This, as well as undergoing various treatments that aim to help heal any discomfort or illness. Today, there is a wide variety of methods that have not achieved the recognition of science. However, many people have undergone these procedures with favorable results. He Placebo effect is one of these, so you have to know what it is and how to implement it in health.
Placebo effect, what is it?
The vast majority of people believe that the placebo effect is concentrated on taking a safe drug. This in order to heal some suffering while clinging to faith to solve your problem. However, this effect does not refer only to the ingestion of pills, since it also occurs in various treatments. Psychotherapy and even in a surgical intervention it is possible to implement it with the aim of improving health.
In this way, it is possible to define the placebo effect as a medical treatment or a substance capable of causing a positive effect in a patient. It occurs thanks to its therapeutic purpose and not by its own nature.
At present, a large part of the drugs that have active and very effective effects were created based on placebos. Which means, they are constituted by the hope that both doctor and patient implemented to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. For what they are considered placebo effect medications.
To understand it a little better, the efficacy of any drug goes beyond its active ingredient. The belief that taking the pill or having a treatment that will work is very important in these cases.
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How does the placebo effect work?
Know how the placebo effect for healthwill help you better understand what it is for. In the field of psychology, this phenomenon can be explained through two elements that are essential. First is classical conditioning and second is the patient's expectations.
Classical conditioning: every patient who is given a placebo is hopeful that they will be able to recover. This is mainly due to the fact that through the experience accumulated over years. That is to say, that by carrying out a treatment an improvement in health can be achieved. So the placebo effect in everyday life.
Patient expectations: On the other hand, the expectations that a patient has are capable of conditioning a positive response to the applied treatment. This benefits a better response in terms of recovery. In other words, the higher the patient's expectations for improvement, this phenomenon and the conditioning will be more effective. However, it is essential that the first step is completed for this effect to work properly.
Factors involved in the placebo effect
This phenomenon is not only reflected in the faith that a patient has, the person who applies the treatment is also part of these factors. As well as, the condition for which the drug is taken, the argument for which the decision to opt for this treatment is made, etc.
There are other characteristics that must be taken into account, such as the price, the materials, the form of presentation and even the rituals required to implement it.
On the other hand, placebos that have a more complex aspect and method of preparation are usually more effective. To get a better idea, a sugar pill has a higher efficacy rate if it looks like a capsule and not a mass. Although it seems incredible, the appearance of the placebo can generate that when taking it, the expectations about its effectiveness are increased or decreased.
Other placebo-like effects
This phenomenon is closely related to other effects that are usually quite similar. So within this strange psychological phenomenon, there are others that are similar and that at the same time have some differences. Placebo effect examples:
Currently, the placebo effect and nocebo they have been related very frequently, however, they are not the same. In the case of nocebo, patients usually suffer relapses or some side effect after the administration of a placebo. This is something that cannot be explained, due to the operation and nature of this type of treatment.
The investigation of the nocebo effect is smaller compared to its counterpart, because it is not usually very common. Bearing in mind that for its application there are many dilemmas related to ethics. Which significantly reduces the study of this phenomenon.
In certain cases, the placebo effect is usually related to other very similar effects, such as the Hawthorne effect.
It is a situation where there is a modification in the behavior patterns of a patient who knows that they are observing it. That is, a change in behavior when it is known that someone is evaluating or observing.
This phenomenon may cause some improvement that may even be visible in terms of mood and health. However, unlike the placebo effect, this is not unconscious.
This means that the Hawthorne effect consists of a method in which the reaction is voluntary when someone observes. Instead, the placebo effect is completely involuntary and occurs in the face of faith in a treatment or medicine. Bearing in mind that the objective is to achieve better health through the patient's belief.
Also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy, the Pygmalion effect consists in the patient must carry out a series of actions for the improvement to occur. In other words, it is not based only on expectations, so this phenomenon is very similar to what happens with placebos. Since it is carried out under the belief of the patient that it will improve their health, it is able to stimulate self-improvement.
Who can be treated with placebos?
In general, anyone can undergo various treatments that conclude with this psychological phenomenon. Many patients tend to opt for placebos when they do not achieve efficient results in conventional treatments.
However, this does not guarantee that the results obtained will be 100% effective and in some cases, many people do not achieve it. The cost of this type of treatment can vary depending on the disease or condition.
Are there contraindications?
Being a purely psychological phenomenon, contraindications to the placebo effect they are practically nil. This is because both pills and treatments are totally harmless, which means that they do not produce a real effect.
Most of the patients who have undergone placebos have assured that after the treatment they felt much better. However, the pills that were administered to him were made of sugar or some kind of saline solution. Therefore, the mentality of the patient plays a very important role in this type of treatment.
Likewise, when dealing with psychological effects, it is impossible for a patient who undergoes placebos to present a worsening in symptoms.
On the other hand, the best thing to do in the presence of symptoms derived from a serious illness is to see a doctor. The implementation of this psychological phenomenon can help in some serious cases. However, good results are not guaranteed just by implementing it. For this reason, it is best to visit a specialist to obtain a clearer diagnosis of what is happening inside the body.
Health should never be left in the hands of inexperienced people, life is the most valuable gift that living beings have. For this reason, you have to take care of your health as best you can to prevent the appearance of diseases. Eating healthy, taking vitamins, exercising, breaking bad habits, and living a healthy lifestyle can make a difference.