Placebo Research and Clinical Practice

Part of the The International Library of Bioethics book series (ILB)


Placebos–understood as inert substances–were introduced in the late 1940’s as an important tool in clinical research. From the beginning, placebo effect has had two meanings: the changes in the placebo group in research and the changes in an individual patient in clinical care. These two situations are fundamentally different, since the aim of research is to find out whether a new method works and the aim of clinical medicine is to help the individual patient. For reasons presented in Chap.  2, ‘placebo effect’ is a confusing label to describe the changes in a patient in clinical care.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of TampereTampereFinland

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