I doubt that this study had any unanticipated results. The doctors must have known that this was the likely result, why else would they attempt the study?
|Originally posted by Lisamarie:
LOL! [img]smile.gif[/img] What I meant was that I could'nt believe that someone would think that their knee got better simply because someone told them that they had sucessful surgery!
This may be the most common outcome from any medical intervention. You go to the doctor (or quacktor), receive treatment and recover. You believe it was due to the therapy, but was it? Or was it due to your belief that the therapy would work? The psycho – social aspect of healing is very important. It also appears to be cultural, as well as individual, meaning that some things work for some cultures but not for others and within a culture individuals react to placebo differently.
The human mind is the most important single element in healing from injury. Yes, there are some diseases that may be able to override the brains ability to heal (diabetes comes to mind), but even so the mind can make healing occur at a rapid or slow rate.
Frequently, medical devices are permitted onto the market after showing a significant but small ability to perform better than placebo. Thus, machines like the TENS unit may only result in a 50% improvement in symptoms while the placebo may result in a 40% improvement when compared to individuals not receiving treatment (improvement being faster rate of healing or fewer symptoms). The machine may cost a tremendous amount and not be available to the poor. Unfortunately, the poor also cannot access the placebo since it is unethical for a doctor to prescribe placebo, without fully informing the patient, even though it would offer a much better rate of improvement.
Western medicine has long understood the role of the mind in health care. It has been unable to integrate it with medical ethics to permit the doctor the ability to use placebo on an as necessary basis. I am not so sure that Alternative Medicine has such an understanding.
I have long thought that most Alternative Medicine is a form of specialized and legal placebo, which works extremely well for many people. By saying that I often create enemies, but that is not my intent. I feel that placebo is an excellent medical treatment in some conditions. After all how many drug interactions are there from use of a benign sugar pill? None is the correct answer, and yet, the patient may have significant improvement in recovery time and symptoms from the use placebo (or for that matter Alternative Medicine therapies).
Thus, Chiropractic and/or other alternatives can be used and result and result in therapeutic improvement in a patients condition even though there are frequently no known mechanisms by which the therapy could work.
But back to the subject, too many surgical procedures are performed today that are no better than placebo. Because of the invasive nature of surgery, this is unacceptable. The patient should understand that the risk he or she is taking is substantial and the result is not better than what the body could do with the correct positive reinforcement (after all this is what happens with placebo, the mind believes the therapy will result in healing and, it does, even though the therapy is not actually result in any physical changes to the patient.
Quite frankly, I wish I understood this better. But I don’t.