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Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect'

Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect'

$32.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology

  • Date Published: November 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521000871

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Traditionally, the effectiveness of medical treatments is attributed to specific elements, such as drugs or surgical procedures. However, many other factors can significantly effect the outcome. Drugs with nationally advertised names can work better than the same drug without the name. Inert drugs (placebos, dummies) often have dramatic effects on some patients and effects can vary greatly among different European countries where the "same" medical condition is understood differently. Daniel Moerman traverses a complex subject area in this detailed examination of medical variables. Since 1993, Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology has offered researchers and instructors monographs and edited collections of leading scholarship in one of the most lively and popular subfields of cultural and social anthropology. Beginning in 2002, the CSMA series presents theme booksworks that synthesize emerging scholarship from relatively new subfields or that reinterpret the literature of older ones. Designed as course material for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and for professionals in related areas (physicians, nurses, public health workers, and medical sociologists), these theme books will demonstrate how work in medical anthropology is carried out and convey the importance of a given topic for a wide variety of readers. About 160 pages in length, the theme books are not simply staid reviews of the literature. They are, instead, new ways of conceptualizing topics in medical anthropology that take advantage of current research and the growing edges of the field.

    • Lucid and careful explanation of a very complex body of material
    • Of particular value to medical professionals and students
    • Unique comparative studies of the variations of 'the placebo effect' in the US and among different European countries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "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

    • Date Published: November 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521000871
    • length: 182 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: 'Pickle ash' and 'High blood'
    Part I. The Meaning Response:
    1. Healing and medical treatment
    2. The healing process
    3. Measurement and its ambiguities
    4. Doctors and patients
    5. Formal factors and the meaning response
    6. Knowledge and culture
    illness and healing
    Part II. Applications, Challenges and Opportunities:
    7. Psychotherapy: placebo effect or meaning response?
    8. The neurobiology and cultural biology of pain
    9. 'More research is needed': the cases of 'adherence' and 'self-reported health'
    10. Other approaches: learning, expecting and conditioning
    11. Ethics, placebos and meaning
    Part III. Meaning and Human Biology:
    12. The extent (and limits) of meaning
    13. Conclusions: many claims, many issues.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Ethnopsychiatry and Spiritual Healing
    • Medical Anthropology
  • Author

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

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