1 Jan. 2022

COMMUNICATE HEAL-TH

Background, scientific relevance & aims

Clinical and treatment response are not only due to medical-technical explanations but also due to patients’ expectations, experiences, and the clinical encounter. Positive expectations (placebo effects) may result in improved health outcomes, whereas negative expectations (nocebo effects) may lead to a reduction of treatment effectiveness or increased side effects. Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in increasing placebo effects and diminishing nocebo effects.

In collaboration with scientific experts and private partners in the areas of virtual reality (VR) and trainings for health care professionals, we are developing an innovative e-learning and VR training that helps healthcare providers to optimize placebo effects and minimize nocebo effects. In this training, different techniques that are supported by scientific research will be implemented. The training will include both theoretical background and hands-on practice including communication with simulated virtual patients. The training is based on the most recent scientific insights and expert consensus (Evers ea 2018, DOI: 10.1159/000490354).

To maximize placebo effects, the trainee is for instance taught to emphasize why the chosen treatment is offered. In addition, (s)he will learn to explain what the short- and long-term positive benefits are, without overstating the treatment efficacy. All this displayed with a warm and competent attitude.

 

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Further reading

TOPIC: Placebo Effects
TOPIC: Placebo Effects

The effects of many treatments are determined, to a significant degree, by factors other than the medicine or treatment itself. For example, placebo e…

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TOPIC: The Placebo and Nocebo Effects of Communication
TOPIC: The Placebo and Nocebo Effects of Communication

Creating better insight into which communication can influence patient outcomes can help to improve care. Our ultimate ambition is to improve patients…

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Pharmacological conditioning
Pharmacological conditioning

The major aim is to examine the potential of learning the body to produce a similar physiological (autonomic, neuroendocrine, or immune) and physical…

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