Bioethics News

Placebo Reduces Back Pain–Even When Patients Know They’re Taking Placebo

October 18, 2016

(Medical Xpress) – For patients with chronic back pain, “open” treatment with placebo—informing patients that they are taking an inactive pill, and why it might be helpful—leads to reductions in pain and disability, reports a study in Pain, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). “This study is the first to demonstrate potential clinically significant benefits of open placebo treatment in chronic low back pain,” according to the new research by Claudia Carvalho, PhD, of ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, and colleagues. “Our data suggests that harnessing placebo effects without deception is possible in the context of a plausible rationale.”

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