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Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology : Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect' Series Number 9 - Daniel E. Moerman

Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology

Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect' Series Number 9


Published: 21st January 2003
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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.

'This lively book conceptualises the complex construct of the meaning response in medicine while taking advantage of current research and newly developed ideas.' Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies '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 'Daniel Moerman wrote a very readably book. in plain English he describes the otherwise mostly statistically stated outcomes of experiments ... it makes some of its chapters very useful for introductory courses. The book is also very useful for everyone who needs to 'break' through the pharmaceutical paradigm ... it is all in all a beautiful book ...'. Medische Antropologie: Tijdschrift over Gezondheid en Cultuur '... fascinating ... entertaining and accessible ... I would recommend it to anyone who knows that there is more to pharmacology than just pharmacology and would like to try to understand why.' Pharmaceutical Physician '... [this] recent volume in the Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology series [is an] important contribution to the study of medicines, not only for medical anthropologists, but for anybody who wants to understand what medicines do and how they do what they do ... it is a testament to the book's quality that it raised many unanswered questions.' Journal of Biosocial Science 'This slim, engagingly written book attempts to replace the concept of 'placebo effect' ... with a related one, 'meaning effect' ... The book's conversational and chatty writing style ... appears designed to appeal to an undergraduate audience. ... Whether or not one accepts 'the meaning effect' as a novel or useful concept, the book is worth a read, and read critically is likely to provoke good classroom discussion.' Journal of the royal Anthropological Institute 'The wealth of experiments reported in this book demonstrate that medicine effects healing in many more ways than through active pharmaceutical ingredients... informative and entertaining...' Journal of Biological Science

Introduction: 'Pickle ash' and 'High blood'
The Meaning Response
Healing and medical treatment
The healing process
Measurement and its ambiguities
Doctors and patients
Formal factors and the meaning response
Knowledge and culture; illness and healing
Applications, Challenges and Opportunities
Psychotherapy: placebo effect or meaning response?
The neurobiology and cultural biology of pain
'More research is needed': the cases of 'adherence' and 'self-reported health'
Other approaches: learning, expecting and conditioning
Ethics, placebos and meaning
Meaning and Human Biology
The extent (and limits) of meaning
Conclusions: many claims, many issues
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521000871
ISBN-10: 0521000874
Series: Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 182
Published: 21st January 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.32