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Research Directions in Complementary, Integrative & Alternative Medicine: Placebo / Patient-Practitioner

Information on clinical evidence models and new approaches for conducting CAM research.

Overviews and Specifics

Cutting edge work in placebo studies is currently being conducted by Ted Kaptchuk (Harvard), Arthur Barskey (Harvard), Luana Colloca (U. of Turin), Fabrizio Benedetti (U. of Turin), Tor D. Wager (U of CO), and others. See the links below for a sampling of articles...

Placebo as "Contextual Healing"

"As a clinical phenomenon, the 'placebo effect' is a generic name for beneficial effects that derive from the context of the clinical encounter, including the ritual of treatment and the clinician-patient relationship, as distinct from therapeutic benefits produced by the specific characteristic pharmacological or physiological effects of medical interventions. ... Moreover, the communicative interaction of practitioners with patients, both verbal and nonverbal, may produce placebo effects even without the use of discrete treatments."

Miller, F.G., Colloca, L. and Kaptchuk, T.J. (2009). The placebo effect: illness and interpersonal healing. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 52/4: 519.

Patient-Practitioner Relationship

NPR: The Hidden Brain>The Unsuspected Potential of Placebo

Web Links



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