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The placebo response in gastroenterology and beyond

Author(s): Sibylle Klosterhalfen | Paul Enck

Journal: Polish Gastroenterology
ISSN 1232-9886

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: placebo response | clinical trials | depression | functional bowel disorders

The placebo literature has substantially increased in the last decade, and more and more medical and psychological subspecialties have added empirical data to our knowledge. The theoretical framework of our understanding of the placebo response needs extension to account for findings that cannot be attributed to (Pavlovian) conditioning or expectancies alone. Gender aspects have been demonstrated for the placebo and nocebo response. It has been shown that nocebo research needs a methodological and ethical framework that allows its exploration. Finally, analyses of clinical trial data, either as meta-analyses or as reanalyses of trial raw data may allow identifying factors that subsequently can be used in experimental work. This has fostered the development of novel and alternative ways to test drugs against placebo that better control for placebo mechanisms without ignoring them.

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