from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A substance containing no medication and prescribed or given to reinforce a patient's expectation to get well.
- n. An inactive substance or preparation used as a control in an experiment or test to determine the effectiveness of a medicinal drug.
- n. Something of no intrinsic remedial value that is used to appease or reassure another.
- n. Roman Catholic Church The service or office of vespers for the dead.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The first antiphon of the vespers for the dead.
- n. A prescription with no pharmacological activity given to a patient to humor or satisfy the desire for medical treatment.
- n. a dose of a compound having no pharmacological activity given to a subject in a medical experiment as part of a control experiment in a test of the effectiveness of another, active pharmacological agent.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Roman Catholic Church, the vespers of the office for the dead.
- n. A medicine adapted rather to pacify than to benefit a patient.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug
- n. (Roman Catholic Church) vespers of the office for the dead
The term placebo: an inert medication or bogus treatment that is intended to control for expectancy effects.
The pharmaceutical industry including some prominent researchers and supposed regulators continue to insist that testing new drugs against a placebo is the only way to get scientifically valid and meaningful results even though administration of placebos means some subjects get no treatment at all.
PHILIPS: Well, I think there is what we call a placebo effect.
And although doctors don't have to use the word "placebo," they should tell patients they are getting an unusual treatment.
But Scriba said doctors aren't obliged to actually use the word 'placebo.'
Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine.
If yesterday was about admitting and addressing the illness, today and tomorrow will hopefully be about prescribing a direction for recovery [not a short-term placebo].
In clinical trials, moodiness was more common among users of Ortho Tri Cyclen than in placebo users, but overall occurred in less than 10% of users.
In the first instance, the word placebo comes to mind.
Everything that can be argued to 'work' in a certain percentage of cases (always self-reported) by means of talk-talk, magick or placebo is loosely grouped under the "Psychology" heading.