Placebo effect and masking
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The placebo effect is a phenomenon in which a patient's symptoms can improve after receiving a treatment that has no active therapeutic effect, such as a sugar pill. This can happen because patients expect the treatment to work and their belief in the treatment can influence their symptoms.
Masking or blinding is a strategy used in research to limit the effects of knowing whether or not a subject is getting therapy. The use of a placebo is one way to mask a subject from knowing whether they are receiving an active treatment or agent or whether they are in the control group. The strategy of double blinding � is to mask observers and data collectors from knowing which group the subjects are in.
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