Placebo, Nocebo, and Expectations: Leveraging Positive Outcomes

As physical therapists, have we fully understood how we consciously or unconsciously shape patient expectations and thus influence outcomes through placebo (positive) or nocebo (negative) pathways? Have we internalized how our framing of patient problems and our resultant verbal and nonverbal clinical behavior influence patient outcomes? Perhaps most importantly, have we fully embraced placebos as an effective tool in our physical therapy treatment toolbox?

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This article is published in JOSPT’s July 2013 (Volume 43, Number 7) issue and is authored by EIM Owners, Larry Benz, DPT, MA, OCS and Tim Flynn, PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT.