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[e-drug] Implications of Placebo and Nocebo Effects for Clinical Practice: Expert Consensus

E-DRUG: Implications of Placebo and Nocebo Effects for Clinical Practice: 
Expert Consensus
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Psychotherapy and psychosomatics
Andrea W.M. Eversa,  Luana Collocab et al
Health, Medical and Neuropsychology Unit, Institute of Psychology, Leiden 
University, Leiden, The Netherlands;

See: article: https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/490354

Placebo effects have large influences on (medical) treatments. An international 
and interdisciplinary team of scientists led by Professor of Health Psychology 
Andrea Evers of the Leiden University, described the first guidelines on how 
placebo effects can be used in the clinical practice. 

The effects of many treatments in health care are in part explained by factors 
other than the resource or the treatment itself. For example the confidence in 
doctors, the expectations that one has with respect to treatments and previous 
experiences. The placebo effect describes the positive effects on treatments 
solely on the positive expectation that one has about this treatment. The 
nocebo effect is the opposite, negative effect: for example, if  patients 
experience side effects because of his/her negative expectations about the 
medication.

Placebo and nocebo effects influence the treatment outcomes. But within these 
findings they are hardly taken into account in the regular health care. 
Although they could optimize at the same time, or even diminish adverse effects 
of treatments could be reduced.

Keywords Placebo effect * Nocebo effect * Patient's expectancies *  Clinical 
practice * Patient-clinician communication * Evidence-based ethical 
recommendations

Abstract Background: 
Placebo and nocebo effects occur in clinical or laboratory medical contexts 
after administration of an inert treatment or as part of active treatments and 
are due to psychobiological mechanisms such as expectancies of the patient. 
Placebo and nocebo studies have evolved from predominantly methodological 
research into a far reaching interdisciplinary field that is unravelling the 
neurobiological, behavioural and clinical underpinnings of these phenomena in a 
broad variety of medical conditions. As a consequence, there is an increasing 
demand from health professionals to develop expert recommendations about 
evidence-based and ethical use of placebo and nocebo effects for clinical 
practice.

Lucas F.M. van der Hoeven  / the Netherlands
lucas@cbsm.nl
Lucas <lucas.van.der.hoeven@cbsm.nl>

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