Often to gauge the efficacy of drugs, researchers observe its effects on groups of participants, who are administered the drug as well as placebo. The drug gets into the fray if it scores better in treatment during such types of clinical trials.
Researchers have always been bewildered with the results of placebo pills, which fare better than expected. Canadian university team, after conducting an analysis, say that it depends on the regularity with which people take the pills.
The research team tested this out with 21 clinical trials analyzing nearly 47,000 people. Out of the 20,000 who got placebos, it was observed that irrespective of whether the patients got drugs or placebos, those who took the pills in the precise schedule, reported a 44% success rate.
The Canadian researchers said," Good adherence to drug therapy is associated with positive health outcomes. This supports the existence of the healthy adherer effect, whereby adherence to drug therapy may be a [characteristic of people with] overall healthy behavior."
Betty Chewning, PhD, director of the Sonderegger Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Pharmacy expressed the underlying message about 'healing', embedded in the study. To quote "Healing lies not in the treatment but rather in patients' emotional and cognitive processes of 'feeling cared for' and 'caring for oneself. The meanings people attach to the 'pill' and 'behavior of the healer' are the key to the mind-body connection leading to health outcomes."