Table. Successful outcome contingent on treatment and belief
Patient's Belief in Treatment Received
 Real treatmentSham treatment
Specific treatment*AB
Sham treatment**CD
*Accepted-site acupuncture, TENS,etc.
**Off-site acupuncture, drug placebo, sham TENS, etc. The cells: A, B, C, and D represent the four possible objective and subjective treatment conditions.
The placebo effect is real and so are the effects of medication. The next step is to sort out the relative contributions of each. A table [reproduced here] suggests a way by which this could be done by asking the patients which treatment they believed they had received (W.C. Clark, "Pin and Pang: Research Methodology for Acupuncture and Other 'Alternative Medicine' Therapies," APS Journal, 3[2]:84-8, 1994).
W. Crawford Clark, Ph.D.
Professor of Medical Psychology
Department of Psychiatry
College of Physicians & Surgeons
Columbia University

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