[Article] „Nocebo Phenomena in Medicine“


A review about the nocebo* phenomena in medicine in Deutsches Ärzteblatt international. Here the conclusion:

Physicians face an ethical dilemma, as they are required not just to inform patients of the potential complications of treatment, but also to minimize the likelihood of these complications, i.e., to avoid inducing them through the potential nocebo effect of thorough patient information. Possible ways out of the dilemma include emphasizing the fact that the proposed treatment is usually well tolerated, or else getting the patient’s permission to inform less than fully about its possible side effects. Communication training in medical school, residency training, and continuing medical education would be desirable so that physicians can better exploit the power of words to patients’ benefit, rather than their detriment.

Deutsches Ärzteblatt international: Nocebo Phenomena in Medicine: Their Relevance in Everyday Clinical Practice (29.06.2012)

*Nocebo phenomena: „By definition, a nocebo effect is the induction of a symptom perceived as negative by sham treatment and/or by the suggestion of negative expectations.

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