January 1960

Placebo Response in Schizophrenic Outpatients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(1):33-42. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590070035005

Introduction  Placebo response has become a focus of much interest in psychiatric treatment. Not only have the values of the placebo in therapy and research been discussed, but its negative effects as well. Reports are present of placebos having emphatic adverse and structural effects on patients.1 For example, dermatitis medicamentosa has been associated with placebo ingestion in verified cases.2 In outpatient psychotherapy Fischer and Dlin found that when placebo was added to the treatment, the results were often poorer than when psychotherapy was used alone.3 The demonstrated potency of the placebo has led to a consideration of the placebo reactor. Some effort has been made to define the kind of person who has a marked or significant response to a placebo. In one study the investigators were able to distinguish postoperative placebo reactors on Rorschach responses.4 The reactors in this study appear to be “individuals who

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