Placebo Roundup and Discussion


This month’s theme is about placebo effects. Because the month is almost over, I would like to end the theme month with a discussion. Before I do so, I will briefly recap our previous blog posts.

- In the introduction blog I told you a story about how my grandma used placebo on me.

- Joanneke Weerdmeester explained the placebo effect in more detail in her blog "What is the placebo effect?"

- I posted two shorter blogs: one with an episode of Derren Brown about how the social context plays a role in the placebo effect and one with a video clip about how expectations can have an effect on our physiology.

After you learned all this about the placebo effect, I would like to ask you:

“If you were a doctor, clinician or designer of a mental health game, would you use/enhance placebo effects?”

Let us know at @GEMH_Lab

Sources and further reading

Charlesworth, J. E., Petkovic, G., Kelley, J. M., Hunter, M., Onakpoya, I., Roberts, N., ... & Howick, J. (2017). Effects of placebos without deception compared with no treatment: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of evidence-based medicine, 10(2), 97-107.

Colloca, L., & Howick, J. (2018). Placebos without deception: Outcomes, mechanisms, and ethics. In International review of neurobiology (Vol. 138, pp. 219-240). Academic Press.

Finniss, D. G., Kaptchuk, T. J., Miller, F., & Benedetti, F. (2010). Biological, clinical, and ethical advances of placebo effects. The Lancet, 375(9715), 686-695.


Aniek Wols
Researcher at GEMH Lab

I am interested in how and why applied games for mental health work, with a specific focus on the influence of one's mindset, motivation and expectations.


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