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Clinical Trial Summary

Research has shown that placebo effects contribute substantially to clinical outcomes. Recent evidence suggests that placebos remain effective even if they are openly described as placebos (so-called Open-Label Placebos). In this study, the investigators examine hope and expectations as components of open-label placebos in an experimental study investigating pain..


Clinical Trial Description

A growing body of research has indicated that placebos contribute substantially to clinical outcomes. Yet, the implementation of deceptive placebos in clinical practice is incompatible with key principles of openness and patient autonomy. However, recent research suggests that placebos remain effective even if they openly described as placebos (so-called Open-Label Placebos (OLP)), hence questioning the necessity of deception in clinical trials. However, research identifying the specific mechanisms underlying OLP is lacking. Therefore, the current study aims to examine hope and expectations as components of OLP in pain.

For this purpose, experimentally induced heat pain is examined. First, all participants receive heat pain stimuli and evaluate them. Next, participants are randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) a traditional deceptive placebo (DP) group, which is told that they receive an effective analgesic cream, (2) an OLP group inducing hope among the participants that the placebo cream could help them tolerating painful stimuli (OLP hope), (3) and OLP group raising the expectation that the placebo cream will help participants tolerating heat pain (OLP expectation), (4) a control group receiving no cream. Finally, participants receive and evaluate heat pain again. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03517644
Study type Interventional
Source Philipps University Marburg Medical Center
Contact Tobias Kube, M. Sc.
Phone +49 64212823341
Email tobias.kube@staff.uni-marburg.de
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date February 10, 2018
Completion date December 31, 2018

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