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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2011 Mar;24(2):149-55. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328343803b.

Role of expectations in health.

Author information

  • 1National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), National Institutes of Health, USA. luana.colloca@nih.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Considerable progress has been made in the neurobiological understanding of expectations in physiological and pathological processes. This article is aimed at presenting an overview of the role of expectations in producing health-related effects. We selected recent laboratory and clinical studies in the field of the placebo effect, with a particular focus on psychiatric disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Recent scientific research indicates that expectations have the potential for relieving many symptoms. This research relies mostly on the study of placebo and nocebo phenomena which influence physiological and pathological functions. The findings from placebo and nocebo research have important implications for the design and interpretation of clinical trials and for clinical practice.

SUMMARY:

The studies of expectations in the field of psychiatry and in other fields of medicine suggest that placebo effects are likely to be an important aspect of any treatment. The application of research on health-related expectations has the potential for promoting wellness, improving health, and benefiting patient care.

PMID:
21248640
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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