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The Placebo Effect

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Data

Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2019-2020

Course director

Tibor SZOLCSÁNYI (tibor.szolcsanyi@aok.pte.hu), assistant professor

Department of Behavioural Sciences

Subject data

Code of subject: OAF-PLH-T  |  1 credit  |  General Medicine |  Optional module  |  spring

Prerequisites: -

Number of hours/semester

12 lectures + 0 practices + 0 seminars = total of 12 hours

Course headcount limitations

min. 5 – max. 50 person

Topic

The use of placebo effect has been an inherent part of medicine for thousands of years, and in the recent decades it has become an inevitable element of medical research due to the introduction of placebo controlled clinical trials. In spite of this fact the research methodology to measure the effectiveness of placebo effect has been clarified only in the last 10-15 years. At the same time researches on the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the placebo effect have gained a new impetus. Currently, therefore, we have a much greater understanding of placebo effect in the context of evidence-based medicine than before, which raises new types of ethical questions as well. During the course we will examine the different aspects of the phenomenon of placebo effect, and the students will gain knowledge of the current research results on the field. The main topics of the course: the history of the use of placebo therapies, the role of placebo effect in medical research, the psycho-social factors that are able to induce placebo effect, neurochemical mechanisms underlying the placebo effect, the ethical implications of the use of placebo effect in medical treatments.

Lectures

  • 1. Introduction, definitions of placebo effect - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 2. The use of placebo effect in the history of medicine - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 3. The use of placebo effect in the context of medical research: the introduction of randomized placebo controlled clinical trials and its consequences - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 4. The methodological and ethical challenges of placebo research - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 5. The main forms of placebo effect (expectancy based / classical conditioning / affective modulation) and their effectiveness in different diseases - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 6. The neurochemistry of placebo effect: placebo analgesia - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 7. The neurochemistry of placebo effect: the cardiovascular and the respiratory system, immune response and hormone secretion, Parkinson disease - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 8. The neurochemistry of placebo effect: further results - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 9. An overview of the psycho-social factors that are able to induce placebo effect - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 10.  Pain management through psychological interventions and placebo analgesia - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 11. Ethical implications: how to enhance the placebo effect through improving the physician-patient relationship - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor
  • 12.  Written test - Dr. Szolcsányi Tibor

Practices

Seminars

Reading material

Obligatory literature

Franklin G. Miller; Luna Colloca; Ted J. Kaptchuk: The Placebo Effect: Illness and Interpersonal Healing, Perspect Biol Med. 2009 ; 52(4)
Damien G. Finniss; Ted J. Kaptchuk; Franklin G. Miller; Fabrizio Benedetti: Biological, Clinical and Ethical Advances of Placebo Effects, Lancet 2010; 375; 686-695
Franklin G. Miller; Donald L. Rosenstein: The Nature and Power of the Placebo Effect, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 59, 2006; 331-335
Fabrizio Benedetti: Mechanisms of Placebo and Placebo-Related Effects across Diseases and Treatments, Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Vol. 48; 2008; 33-60.
Jozien M. Bensing; William Verheul: The Silent Healer: The Role of Communication in Placebo Effects, Patient Education and Counseling 80, 2010; 293-299

Literature developed by the Department

Additional materials: Neptun MeetStreet

Notes

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Recommended literature

Fabrizio Benedetti: Placebo Effect, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009
Lectures

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Maximum of 25 % absence allowed

Mid-term exams

Written test taking place in the last class. To improve the grade, the test can be repeated two times in the first two weeks of the exam period.

Making up for missed classes

According to the Code of Studies and Examinations.

Exam topics/questions

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Examiners

Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars