Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in health | 0 comments

Placebo Implications for the Healthcare Industry

When you are the victim of a serious road traffic accident you need to be sure you are getting the most effective treatment in order to recover from your injuries. The right treatment and intervention can make all the difference to recovery times and assist a more rapid return to your normal lifestyle.

Recent studies suggest that it is not just the conscious reaction to treatment that can have a beneficial effect in aiding recovery. There are a whole host of subconscious cues that can make all the difference when it comes to getting better after a serious accident.  

placeboWhy should healthcare professionals be aware of the placebo effect?

The role of placebos in aiding and assisting recovery from an illness has been widely documented for many years. It is not just about taking a sugar pill and suddenly feeling better. There are a whole range of different psychological responses to a patient’s environment which can all make a different in how effective any kind of treatment can be.

Simple things such as just believing that you will get better makes a vast contribution to how effective any form of treatment might be. When a patient believes that the course of treatment they are undergoing will have a positive impact on their injuries, the chances of recovery are far higher.

What healthcare professionals need to be aware of is just how much influence the positive energy that surrounds the patients care will have on their chances of recovery. At present, very little is known about this part of the body’s own healing response beyond the fact that it makes a difference. However the fact that it does make a difference is crucial and this is why healthcare professionals need to take it on board. The more positivity there is surrounding a patient’s course of treatment after an accident, the more chance there is of them making a full recovery.

Nocebo, the opposite effect

While placebos are relatively well known about in current medical practice many physicians are not aware that the effects can work both ways. The opposite of a placebo is a nocebo. This is where the patient believes that they are not going to get better, no matter what.

A nocebo effect could be caused by the attitude of the healthcare professionals who are responsible for the patients’ care. Or it could be the environment that the patient finds themselves in while trying to recover. Any negativity that surrounds the patient can have a devastating effect on their body’s natural healing response.

After a serious road traffic accident, positivity is key to aiding a patient on the road to recovery. That doesn’t mean that the less than favourable aspects of a patient’s condition should be kept from them. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that patients who are aware of the implications of their injuries are able to make more informed choices about their own care.

That being said, it is crucial for patients to believe that there are options, that they will get better and that they will return to the way of life that they enjoyed prior to their accident. The sooner medical professionals begin to introduce this way of thinking as part of their patient care, the more chance there is that higher numbers of patients will make a full recovery after their accident.

This post has been composed and contributed by British blogger Zoe on behalf of Hughes Carlisle. Visit the website for expert advice on all avenues of family law.