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What techniques might be used to harness placebo effects in non-malignant pain? A literature review and survey to develop a taxonomy

What techniques might be used to harness placebo effects in non-malignant pain? A literature review and survey to develop a taxonomy
What techniques might be used to harness placebo effects in non-malignant pain? A literature review and survey to develop a taxonomy
Objectives@ placebo effects can be clinically meaningful but are seldom fully exploited in clinical practice. This review aimed to facilitate translational research by producing a taxonomy of techniques that could augment placebo analgesia in clinical practice.

Design: literature review and survey.

Methods: we systematically analysed methods which could plausibly be used to elicit placebo effects in 169 clinical and laboratory-based studies involving non-malignant pain, drawn from 7 systematic reviews. In a validation exercise we surveyed 33 leading placebo researchers (M=12 years’ research experience, SD=9.8), who were asked to comment on and add to the draft taxonomy derived from the literature.

Results: the final taxonomy defines 30 procedures that may contribute to placebo effects in clinical and experimental research, proposes 60 possible clinical applications, and classifies procedures into 5 domains: the Patient’s Characteristics and Belief (5 procedures and 11 clinical applications); the Practitioner’s Characteristics and Beliefs (2 procedures and 4 clinical applications); the Healthcare Setting (8 procedures and 13 clinical applications); Treatment Characteristics (8 procedures and 14 clinical applications); and the Patient-Practitioner Interaction (7 procedures and 18 clinical applications).

Conclusions: the taxonomy provides a preliminary and novel tool with potential to guide translational research aiming to harness placebo effects for patient benefit in practice.
placebos, placebo effect, nocebo effect, translational research, review, classification
2044-6055
1-13
Bishop, Felicity
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Coghlan, Beverly
2ca0d06b-0ea4-42df-b4ae-96592ff824e9
Geraghty, Adam
2c6549fe-9868-4806-b65a-21881c1930af
Everitt, Hazel
80b9452f-9632-45a8-b017-ceeeee6971ef
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Holmes, Michelle, Marie
83deb057-57c5-48ec-a140-317676865ed8
Seretis, Dionysios
fcfced3f-6551-4e8b-b31b-92ca858c0526
Lewith, George
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625
Bishop, Felicity
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Coghlan, Beverly
2ca0d06b-0ea4-42df-b4ae-96592ff824e9
Geraghty, Adam
2c6549fe-9868-4806-b65a-21881c1930af
Everitt, Hazel
80b9452f-9632-45a8-b017-ceeeee6971ef
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Holmes, Michelle, Marie
83deb057-57c5-48ec-a140-317676865ed8
Seretis, Dionysios
fcfced3f-6551-4e8b-b31b-92ca858c0526
Lewith, George
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625

Bishop, Felicity, Coghlan, Beverly, Geraghty, Adam, Everitt, Hazel, Little, Paul, Holmes, Michelle, Marie, Seretis, Dionysios and Lewith, George (2017) What techniques might be used to harness placebo effects in non-malignant pain? A literature review and survey to develop a taxonomy. BMJ Open, 7 (6), 1-13. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015516).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives@ placebo effects can be clinically meaningful but are seldom fully exploited in clinical practice. This review aimed to facilitate translational research by producing a taxonomy of techniques that could augment placebo analgesia in clinical practice.

Design: literature review and survey.

Methods: we systematically analysed methods which could plausibly be used to elicit placebo effects in 169 clinical and laboratory-based studies involving non-malignant pain, drawn from 7 systematic reviews. In a validation exercise we surveyed 33 leading placebo researchers (M=12 years’ research experience, SD=9.8), who were asked to comment on and add to the draft taxonomy derived from the literature.

Results: the final taxonomy defines 30 procedures that may contribute to placebo effects in clinical and experimental research, proposes 60 possible clinical applications, and classifies procedures into 5 domains: the Patient’s Characteristics and Belief (5 procedures and 11 clinical applications); the Practitioner’s Characteristics and Beliefs (2 procedures and 4 clinical applications); the Healthcare Setting (8 procedures and 13 clinical applications); Treatment Characteristics (8 procedures and 14 clinical applications); and the Patient-Practitioner Interaction (7 procedures and 18 clinical applications).

Conclusions: the taxonomy provides a preliminary and novel tool with potential to guide translational research aiming to harness placebo effects for patient benefit in practice.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 June 2017
Keywords: placebos, placebo effect, nocebo effect, translational research, review, classification

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412154
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412154
ISSN: 2044-6055
PURE UUID: 427a42bf-201d-40a8-924b-c499e565fa3d
ORCID for Felicity Bishop: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8737-6662
ORCID for Hazel Everitt: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-8403

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Date deposited: 12 Jul 2017 16:30
Last modified: 10 Sep 2019 00:49

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Contributors

Author: Felicity Bishop ORCID iD
Author: Beverly Coghlan
Author: Adam Geraghty
Author: Hazel Everitt ORCID iD
Author: Paul Little
Author: Dionysios Seretis
Author: George Lewith

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