This resource discusses the ubiquity and extent of the placebo response along with the history of the placebo response in relation to medical treatment. It then covers how placebos work, how the placebo effect can be enhanced, as well as expectation, conditioning and elements of the treatment, along with relationship between psychotherapy and placebo treatment, and the ethics of deliberate use of the placebo effect. Particular attention is given to the role of the placebo response in psychiatric treatment. Finally, it offers concrete suggestions for how what we know of the placebo effect can be used to enhance the benefit of all treatments.
Walter A. Brown, author Tufts University
date: 18 May 2021