Understanding the Placebo Effect in Complementary Medicine

Theory, Practice and Research

Edited by

  • David Peters, MBChB, DRCOG, MFHom, MLCOM, Clinical Director, School of Intergrated Health, University of Westminster, London; Director, Complementary Therapies Unit and Osteopath, Marylebone Health Centre, London, UK

The placebo elicits more passionate debate, scepticism and personal belief than almost any other aspect of medicine. As yet there are no concrete answers - but many challenging observations and powerful effects occur daily in healthcare which need to be examined. This book will stimulate and inform every reader - from the experienced practitioner to the new student - who has ever asked, "What is the placebo really, and why should it matter to me?" Written in an accessible and engaging style with contributions from leading figures in healthcare, it tackles issues of the placebo effect in complementary medicine.
View full description


Complementary therapists, general practitioners, family practitioners, nurses.


Book information

  • Published: July 2001
  • ISBN: 978-0-443-06031-1

Table of Contents

Part One: Theory.
Medical Anthropology Perspectives.
The Mind/Brain/Body Connection.
The Clinical Impact of Placebo Responses -- A Review.

Part Two: Clinical Implications.
Can We Optimise Non-Specific Effects? Transference Cures, Post-Modernism, Potencies and Placebos.
Transforming the Impossible Patient? Mind, Models and Methods, Therapeutic Touch and the Placebo Response.
Complementary Medicine Effectiveness Beyond the Placebo Response.

Part Three: Models for Research.
Unpicking the Tapestry, Research Into the Placebo Response.
Placebo Response and the Participative World View