Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect' / Edition 1

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Daniel E. Moerman presents a discussion of human reaction to the meaning of medical treatment. Many things happen in medicine that cannot be attributed to specific elements, such as drugs or surgical procedures. The same drug can work differently when presented in different colors; inert drugs (placebos, dummies) often have dramatic effects on people (the "placebo effect"); and effects can vary hugely among different European countries where the "same" medical condition is understood differently, or has different meanings, yielding different meaning responses. This lively book reviews and analyzes these matters in lucid, straightforward prose, guiding the reader through a very complex body of literature, leaving nothing unexplained but avoiding any oversimplification.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Daniel Moerman's Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect' is a lucid, accessible look at the power doctors have to restore patients to health with placebos." London Review of Books

"[A]n interesting exploration of the placebo effect.... Recommended." Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521000871
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology Series , #9
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 186
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Moerman is William E. Stirton Professor of Anthropology at The University of Michigan-Dearborn.
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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Introduction: "Pickle ash" and "high blood" 1
Pt. I The meaning response 7
1 Healing and medical treatment 9
2 The healing process 16
3 Measurement and its ambiguities 22
4 Doctors and patients 32
5 Formal factors and the meaning response 47
6 Knowledge and culture; illness and healing 67
Pt. II Applications, challenges, and opportunities 87
7 Psychotherapy: placebo effect or meaning response? 89
8 The neurobiology and cultural biology of pain 100
9 "More research is needed": The cases of "adherence" and "self-reported health" 116
10 Other approaches: learning, expecting, and conditioning 122
11 Ethics, placebos, and meaning 127
Pt. III Meaning and human biology 131
12 The extent (and limits) of meaning 133
13 Conclusions: many claims, many issues 147
References 156
Index 169
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Very Powerful

    This book was very helpful for all of those that wish to do research on placeboes and how they effect other people. I would like to say how wonder ful this book is. Dillon

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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