安慰剂效应详解

波士顿——在众多医学科研人员和科学信徒们看来,最令人不安的莫过于安慰剂效应了。无效的糖丸怎么会有治疗价值呢?要想找到答案就必须先了解医疗的背景——也就是医疗保健的象征性及惯例性与患者在大夫面前所谓的情绪反应相融合的现状。信任、换位思考、希望、恐惧、忧虑和治疗过程中不确定性的重要作用不能被忽视。

通过服用糖丸、注射生理食盐水、甚至于做假手术,安慰剂研究区分了治疗过程和真正药物或手术的直接影响。安慰剂效应的最新研究表明即使不开任何“真正的”药物,单凭临床就诊本身也可以减轻疼痛、​​改善睡眠、缓解抑郁并改善肠道易激综合症、哮喘、帕金森氏症、心脏病和偏头痛等众多疾病的症状。

安慰剂主要对病人的自我评价产生影响。它们无法缩小肿瘤;但可以帮助患者缓解与癌症及其治疗相关的疲劳、恶心、疼痛和焦虑症状。它们无法降低胆固醇或高血压,但可以明显改善情绪或减轻痛苦,让患者行为更加健康。

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