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Am J Clin Hypn. 2007 Jul;50(1):37-47.

Hypnosis, placebos, and systematic research bias in biological psychiatry.

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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 No. 1900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2119, USA.


In an elaboration on the contribution by Raz (current issue), placebo response is further reviewed in relation to psychotropic drug research. Many therapists are unaware that placebo controlled research documents that antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs on average are only mildly more effective than a placebo. Systematic biases in research design are noted that could account for the small differences. These factors, and turf and financial motivations associated with the rise of "biological psychiatry," are discussed because they impact the practice of clinical hypnosis and psychotherapy. Although placebo research is fascinating and expectancy is certainly an important factor in hypnotic response, thus far, there is little research to support the strong involvement of placebo response as part of hypnotic responsiveness.

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