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  • 1 Department of Personality and Health Physiology, Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Izabella u. 46, H-1064 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 Center for Physical Education and Sports, Eötvös Loránd University, Bogdánfy Ödön u. 10, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract

Some ethical and practical aspects of the therapeutic use of placebos among Hungarian GPs (N = 94) were investigated in a questionnaire study. The majority of the responding GPs had already used placebos in their praxis. Placebo therapy was held effective on subjective symptoms by 52.7% of the responding physicians, and on both subjective and objective symptoms by 41.8%. The symptoms most commonly and successfully treated were anxiety, fatigue, sleep disorders and functional problems. GPs usually use vitamins, complementary medicines and sedatives as placebos. Most commonly, the therapy was considered ethically permissible if it was for the patient’s benefit (83.7%). Most of the physicians suggested formulating an official proposal on the therapeutic use of placebos to help in everyday medical practice. As recent research findings also support the efficacy of the placebo therapy in various conditions, its total prohibition clearly needs reconsideration.

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