Cover image for The power of hope : a doctor's perspective
Title:
The power of hope : a doctor's perspective
Author:
Spiro, Howard M. (Howard Marget), 1924-
Publication Information:
New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
xi, 288 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Prepared under the auspices of The Program for Humanities in Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine."

"Portions of this book previously appeared in Doctors, patients, and placebos (Yale University Press, 1986)"--T.p. verso.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780300074109

9780300076325
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library R726.5 .S66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This study advocates a method of helping patients with a combination of alternative and mainstream medicine - a treatment of mind, body and spirit that energizes patients. Spiro encourages physicians to talk and listen to their patients, and to employ alternative approaches.


Summary

In this book an eminent physician explores how patients and caring doctors can help lessen suffering when illness occurs. Dr. Howard Spiro urges that physicians focus on their patients' feelings of pain and anxiety as well as on physical symptoms. He also suggests that patients and their doctors be receptive to the emotional relief that may be obtained from nature and from hope.

Drawing on his previous highly praised work on the doctor-patient relationship and the problem of pain, Dr. Spiro tells how people can be helped by a combination of alternative medicine and mainstream medicine--a treatment of mind, body, and spirit that energizes patients, strengthens their expectations, and starts them on the road to feeling better. In various forms of alternative medicine, from meditation to massage, from faith healing to folk medicine, from herbology to homeopathy, practitioners heed patients' complaints and help them to help themselves. Dr. Spiro encourages physicians to talk and listen to their patients as much as they look and measure, to treat the whole patient and not just the disease, and to integrate a scientific approach to medicine with alternative approaches that may alleviate pain and suffering.




Author Notes

Howard Spiro, M.D. , professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and director of the Program for Humanities in Medicine there, established the gastrointestinal section at the Yale School of Medicine in 1955. He is the author of Clinical Gastroenterology, now in its fourth edition, and Doctors, Patients, and Placebos . He is coeditor of Empathy and the Practice of Medicine and Facing Death , both published by Yale University Press, and When Doctors Get Sick.


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

In this book on hope and medicine, gastroenterologist Spiro shows that he knows nonmedical as well as medical literature as he perceptively examines physicians, patients, and their manifold relationships. He points out that though scientists have figured out the circuitry of the brain, physicians, if they see their patients as individuals needing understanding as well as up-to-date medical care, will still need the words of the poet. Unfortunately, for many physicians, science has become, Spiro says, a religion rather than a process, and those physicians pay more attention to numbers than to people, imposing science on patients rather than listening to them. Not surprisingly, Spiro discusses the ethics of using placebos, particularly the justification for giving a placebo and the importance of determining whether changes in the patient actually result from it. Excellent reading for medical students in their clinical years as well as for serious lay readers and discussion groups. William Beatty


Publisher's Weekly Review

Retackling the subject of his previous book (Doctors, Patients and Placebos,1986), Spiro, a professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, finds placebos everywhere in American medicine: "in clinical trials as a substitute for treatment and in practice as therapy." After defining a placebo as a "medicine prescribed more to please the patient than for its therapeutic effectiveness," Spiro carefully investigates the ethics of using placebos (especially in scientific research); the mind-body connection in the "placebo response"; and the nature of pain. He asserts that complaints for which no disease can be found "often seem unreal to physicians." Spiro argues, quite eloquently, that when physicians consider all the aspects that go into managing a patient's pain and suffering‘physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc.‘any treatment offered, be it pills, procedures or even surgery, will be more successful if it serves to engage the patient's power of hope. For the doctor, the key to this "placebo response" is creating a bond between patient and physician. Sometimes, he notes, the bond alone can serve to heal‘although Spiro adds that in the age of managed care it is becoming ever more difficult to create that bond. His book is an excellent addition to the literature on the mind-body connection and on the power of the mind to relieve pain and suffering. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

Spiro offers an outstanding exploration of the roles of placebos in caring for patients. The author, professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine (gastroenterology), thoroughly explores the various roles placebos have played throughout medical history in this detailed coverage of health-care literature in scientific medicine, alternative medicine, and folk medicine throughout the ages. He views the placebo response as real and as a desirable tool in the hands of all physicians and health care providers, and he argues the need for more time in physician patient contacts in the context of managed care. How placebos might work is explored in depth. Still at issue is whether placebos or complementary remedies have the power to change the course of organic disease, and remains, as the author argues, open to question. Nevertheless, Spiro provides a provocative and exhaustive review of the roles and effects of placebos in health care. All levels of readers. J. E. Allen University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Booklist Review

In this book on hope and medicine, gastroenterologist Spiro shows that he knows nonmedical as well as medical literature as he perceptively examines physicians, patients, and their manifold relationships. He points out that though scientists have figured out the circuitry of the brain, physicians, if they see their patients as individuals needing understanding as well as up-to-date medical care, will still need the words of the poet. Unfortunately, for many physicians, science has become, Spiro says, a religion rather than a process, and those physicians pay more attention to numbers than to people, imposing science on patients rather than listening to them. Not surprisingly, Spiro discusses the ethics of using placebos, particularly the justification for giving a placebo and the importance of determining whether changes in the patient actually result from it. Excellent reading for medical students in their clinical years as well as for serious lay readers and discussion groups. William Beatty


Publisher's Weekly Review

Retackling the subject of his previous book (Doctors, Patients and Placebos,1986), Spiro, a professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, finds placebos everywhere in American medicine: "in clinical trials as a substitute for treatment and in practice as therapy." After defining a placebo as a "medicine prescribed more to please the patient than for its therapeutic effectiveness," Spiro carefully investigates the ethics of using placebos (especially in scientific research); the mind-body connection in the "placebo response"; and the nature of pain. He asserts that complaints for which no disease can be found "often seem unreal to physicians." Spiro argues, quite eloquently, that when physicians consider all the aspects that go into managing a patient's pain and suffering‘physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc.‘any treatment offered, be it pills, procedures or even surgery, will be more successful if it serves to engage the patient's power of hope. For the doctor, the key to this "placebo response" is creating a bond between patient and physician. Sometimes, he notes, the bond alone can serve to heal‘although Spiro adds that in the age of managed care it is becoming ever more difficult to create that bond. His book is an excellent addition to the literature on the mind-body connection and on the power of the mind to relieve pain and suffering. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

Spiro offers an outstanding exploration of the roles of placebos in caring for patients. The author, professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine (gastroenterology), thoroughly explores the various roles placebos have played throughout medical history in this detailed coverage of health-care literature in scientific medicine, alternative medicine, and folk medicine throughout the ages. He views the placebo response as real and as a desirable tool in the hands of all physicians and health care providers, and he argues the need for more time in physician patient contacts in the context of managed care. How placebos might work is explored in depth. Still at issue is whether placebos or complementary remedies have the power to change the course of organic disease, and remains, as the author argues, open to question. Nevertheless, Spiro provides a provocative and exhaustive review of the roles and effects of placebos in health care. All levels of readers. J. E. Allen University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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