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Eur J Pain. 2016 Jan;20(1):8-13. doi: 10.1002/ejp.750. Epub 2015 Sep 28.

Placebo and nocebo effects on itch: effects, mechanisms, and predictors.

Author information

1
Unit Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.
2
Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.
3
Department of Dermatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
4
Department of Medical Psychology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Placebo and nocebo effects have been extensively studied in the field of pain and more recently also on itch. In accordance with placebo research on pain, expectancy learning via verbal suggestion or conditioning has shown to induce placebo and nocebo effects on itch, in which the combination of both procedures seems most promising. Moreover, itch can also be transferred 'contagiously' in which suggestion and social behavioural learning seem to play a role. With regard to predictors of placebo and nocebo responding on itch and contagious itch, preliminary evidence suggests a role for individual psychological characteristics and personality traits regarding negative outcome expectancies. Although findings on placebo and nocebo effects on itch seem comparable to pain, we have only just begun to understand the underlying mechanisms and predictors of placebo and nocebo effects on itch.

PMID:
26417885
DOI:
10.1002/ejp.750
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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