Universiteit Leiden

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Fieldwork campaign

Placebo Stories

To what extent do your thoughts and experiences affect your health? What is the impact of the placebo effect on medical treatments, for example for pain and itching? In this project, we will collect stories of people who have experiences with the efficacy of placebo effects, for example as a patient or doctor.

Andrea Evers

What are placebo effects?

The placebo effect is a positive treatment effect that is not related to an active treatment mechanism, such as the inherent parts of a medicine. The placebo effect is a positive effect, such as less pain, only due to the expectancies of the patient regarding a treatment, for example after the positive information given by a doctor about a specific treatment. For example, only expecting to receive a well-known painkiller can be enough to already reduce your pain. At the same time, reading an instruction letter with severe adverse events results already in a higher risk of experience precisely these adverse events. This is what we call a nocebo effect.

The placebo effect – Examples

Everybody has experienced a placebo or nocebo effect in the past. For example, you possibly experienced that a well-known treatment works much better when an empathic doctor gives a good explanation why this treatment might work for you. Sometimes, people observe also placebo and nocebo effects in others. For example, think of the mother who uses a kiss to reduce the pain of her child or a patient who gets sick from nausea already before receiving the next chemotherapy.

The Placebo Stories

We are interested in all these examples of placebo and nocebo experiences and would like to collect them in our research on Placebo Stories. Do you have an own placebo story you would like to share, for example, you own experience or observation of others?  Click on the link here and we will contact you in due time.


Want to know more about it?

Want to know more about the research group? Take a look at the website: https://www.andreaevers.nl/

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