Although using an inhaler can temporarily relieve asthmatic lungs, a new study has found that doctor-patient contact is what makes patients feel better.
Reuters reports that the findings, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that patients in a trial who did not receive actual medicine felt improvement in their condition when they were given placebo therapies that involved regular contact with their healthcare provider.
The news source states that all 39 of the patients who were given placebo treatments reported feeling better. According to the study, the patients claimed to feel a 50 percent improvement in their symptoms, the same percentage as those who were given actual albuteral inhalers.
“Placebo effects can be clinically meaningful and can rival the effects of active medication in patients with asthma. However, from a clinical-management and research-design perspective, patient self-reports can be unreliable,” the researchers wrote in the official study report.
Only when given tests to gauge lung strength was it proven that the placebo patients were not actually improving. However, according to researchers, this could lead to new treatments for depression and other related mental disorders that could possibly be eased by greater doctor-patient interactions.