May 1966

Observations of Placebo Response in Chronic Schizophrenic Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(5):497-503. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730110049007

EVEN a cursory review of the literature on effects of placebo is sufficient to indicate that placebo response is a complex and elusive phenomenon which is, at best, incompletely understood. With respect to placebo reactivity in psychiatric patients, it is of interest that the major critical reviews and attempts at generalization from available data were completed prior to 1959.1-6 Since that time the profusion of experimental psychopharmacologic agents and the popularity of the double-blind design have greatly increased the use of placebo with psychiatric patients, but there has apparently been no concomitant increase in the study of placebo response in these patients. There would seem to be at least two good reasons for this. First, reaction to placebo appears to be influenced by such a host of variables, both within the individual and in the external circumstances surrounding the administration of placebo, that

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