Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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Monday, September 16, 2019
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ID 20775
  Title Why do ineffective treatments seem helpful? A brief review
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2770065/
Journal Chiropr & Osteopat. 2009 ;17(10):Online access only 7 p
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Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes After any therapy, when symptoms improve, healthcare providers (and patients) are tempted to award credit to treatment. Over time, a particular treatment can seem so undeniably helpful that scientific verification of efficacy is judged an inconvenient waste of time and resources. Unfortunately, practitioners' accumulated, day-to-day, informal impressions of diagnostic reliability and clinical efficacy are of limited value. To help clarify why even treatments entirely lacking in direct effect can seem helpful, I will explain why real signs and symptoms often improve, independent of treatment. Then, I will detail quirks of human perception, interpretation, and memory that often make symptoms seem improved, when they are not. I conclude that healthcare will grow to full potential only when judgments of clinical efficacy routinely are based in properly scientific, placebo-controlled, outcome analysis.

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full text.


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