Recent Newspaper & Online Columns by Kate Scannell MD

The nocebo effect -- When negative expectations can make you ill

July 20, 2014

Tags: nocebo effect, placebo effect, Jodi Halpern

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist
First published in print: 07/20/2014

As far as I know, my grandmother never used the term "nocebo effect," but she did understand its meaning. "Expect things to go badly, and they will," she'd caution.

More formally, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "nocebo effect" as, "A detrimental effect on health produced by psychological or psychosomatic factors such as negative expectations of treatment or prognosis, cultural beliefs about illness, personality traits, etc." (more…)

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Tips for quitting tobacco from former smokers -- a CDC summer sequel

July 6, 2014

Tags: antismoking, smoking, tips from former smokers, CDC, Lucy Popova, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist
First published in print: 07/05/2014

On Monday, coming to a theater near you -- and to TV, radio, online sites, newspapers and billboards as well -- the newest sequel to the national anti-smoking media campaign, "Tips from Former Smokers."

Produced by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the upcoming sequel again features actual former smokers whose lives were damaged or endangered by tobacco products. Their painfully true stories are regularly disturbing and consistently grim. In their telling, each participant hopes to encourage other smokers to quit, and to discourage prospective smokers from ever lighting up. Collectively, their messages provide a deadly serious reminder of the many -- and, perhaps, surprising -- ways that tobacco can disfigure a body, ruin a life, and cause human suffering. (more…)

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