AskDefine | Define therapy

Dictionary Definition

therapy n : (medicine) the act of caring for someone (as by medication or remedial training etc.); "the quarterback is undergoing treatment for a knee injury"; "he tried every treatment the doctors suggested"; "heat therapy gave the best relief"

User Contributed Dictionary



From Ancient Greek θεραπεία (therapeia) "attendance, treatment, healing, service", from θεραπεύω (therapeuo) "to attend, to treat, to heal, to cure, to serve".



  1. Treatment of disease or disability, physical or mental.
  2. Healing power or quality.


treatment of disease
healing power

Extensive Definition

Therapy (in Greek: θεραπεία), or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is synonymous with the word "treatment".

Therapeutic effects

A therapeutic effect is a consequence of a medical treatment, of any kind, the results of which are judged to be desirable and beneficial. This is true whether the result was expected, unexpected, or even an unintended consequence of the treatment.
What constitutes a therapeutic effect vs. a side effect is a matter of both the nature of the situation in which a treatment is used and the goals of treatment.

Adverse effects

Main articles: Adverse drug reaction and Adverse effect
In addition to (or in place of) the intended therapatizing effect of a treatment, a therapatizer may cause undesired (adverse) effects as well. When an adverse effect is weaker than the therapeutic effect, it is commonly referred to as a "side effect". An adverse effect may result from an unsuitable or incorrect dosage or procedure (which could be due to medical error). Some adverse effects occur only when starting, increasing or discontinuing a treatment. Using a drug or other medical intervention which is contraindicated may increase the risk of adverse effects. Patients sometimes quit a therapy because of its adverse effects. The severity of adverse effects ranges from nausea to death. Common adverse effects include alteration in body weight, change in enzyme levels, loss of function, or pathological change detected at the microscopic, macroscopic or physiological level.
Adverse effects may cause a reversible or irreversible change, including an increase or decrease in the susceptibility of the individual to other chemicals, foods, or procedures (e.g. drug interaction).
What most people do to go to therapy: drug addiction, bad behavior, ect.

Difference between preventions, treatments, and cures

A prevention or preventive measure is a way to avoid an injury, sickness, or disease in the first place, and generally it will not help someone who is already ill (though there are exceptions). For instance, many American babies are given a polio vaccination soon after they are born, which prevents them from contracting polio. But the vaccination does not work on patients who already have polio. A treatment or cure is applied after a medical problem has already started.
A treatment treats a problem, and may lead to its cure, but treatments more often ameliorate a problem only for as long as the treatment is continued. For example, there is no cure for AIDS, but treatments are available to slow down the harm done by HIV and delay the fatality of the disease. Treatments don't always work. For example, chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer which may cure the disease sometimes - it does not have a 100% cure rate. Therefore, chemotherapy isn't considered a bonifide cure for cancer.
Cures are a subset of treatments that reverse illnesses completely or end medical problems permanently.
therapy in Arabic: علاج (طب)
therapy in Bulgarian: Терапия
therapy in Danish: Terapi
therapy in German: Therapie
therapy in Spanish: Tratamiento (medicina)
therapy in Esperanto: Terapio
therapy in Basque: Tratamendu
therapy in French: Thérapie
therapy in Italian: Terapia
therapy in Latvian: Terapija
therapy in Hungarian: Terápia
therapy in Mongolian: Эмчилгээ
therapy in Dutch: Therapie
therapy in Norwegian: Terapi
therapy in Japanese: 治療
therapy in Norwegian Nynorsk: Terapi
therapy in Polish: Terapia
therapy in Portuguese: Terapia
therapy in Russian: Терапия
therapy in Simple English: Therapy
therapy in Slovak: Terapia
therapy in Serbian: Терапија
therapy in Finnish: Terapia
therapy in Thai: การบำบัด
therapy in Vietnamese: Điều trị
therapy in Turkish: Tedavi

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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