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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49031. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049031. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Effects of ginger and expectations on symptoms of nausea in a balanced placebo design.

Author information

1
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Ginger effects on (experimental) nausea have been described, but also strong placebo effects and sex differences when nausea is involved. The "balanced placebo design" has been proposed to allow better separation of drug and placebo effects.

METHODS:

Sixty-four healthy participants (32 women) were randomly assigned to receive an antiemetic ginger preparation or placebo, and half of each group was told to have received drug or placebo. They were exposed to 5×2 min body rotations to induce nausea. Subjective symptoms and behavioral (rotation tolerance, head movements) and physiological measures (electrogastrogram, cortisol) were recorded. Groups were balanced for sex of participants and experimenters.

RESULTS:

Ginger and the information given did not affect any outcome measure, and previous sex differences could not be confirmed. Adding the experimenters revealed a significant four-factorial interaction on behavioral but not on subjective or physiological measures Men who received placebo responded to placebo information when provided by the male experimenter, and to ginger information when provided by the female experimenter. This effect was not significant in women.

CONCLUSION:

The effects of an antiemetic drug and provided information interact with psychosocial variables of participants and experimenters in reports of nausea.

PMID:
23152846
PMCID:
PMC3496739
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0049031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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