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BIS. Boletim do Instituto de Saúde (Impresso)

versão impressa ISSN 1518-1812

Resumo

EPSTEIN, Isaac. A comunicação da saúde e o "efeito placebo. BIS, Bol. Inst. Saúde (Impr.) [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.1, pp. 22-28. ISSN 1518-1812.

ABSTRACT Health communication addressing the public, whether in the context of doctor-patient interrelation, through interactions of focal groups or via mass communication, should always have the ethical commitment of communication, in the most suitable form, of the "truth" or, at least, the scientific verisimilitude (in the updated state of the art) concerning health promotion, whether in the form of prevention, medical treatment or cure of diseases. From this standpoint, how to make sense out of the "placebo effect" whose goal is also to alleviate human suffering caused by the loss of health, but now based on the fiction (from the hegemonic medicine perspective) which is its very essence? This article aims at describing some aspects of the actual scientific understanding of this "effect", exploring its nature, typical traits, limitation and possibilities in health promotion under an ethical but also pragmatic perspective. Several present explanations are mentioned concerning this "effect": the psychological one (conditioned reflex), the anthropological one (through descriptions of magical and curative procedures in so called "primitive" cultures), the psycho-neuro-physiological bases of the placebo-nocebo phenomenon, etc. Besides, we deal with the some of the difficulties that the "placebo effect" causes in double-blind trials (to determine the real efficacy of new medicines in the treatment of certain diseases).

Palavras-chave : Placebo; nocebo; health.

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