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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Werner, Mads


CiteScore 2018: 0.85

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.494
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.427

Online
ISSN
1877-8879
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Volume 16, Issue 1

Issues

Are we using Placebo effects in specialized Palliative Care?

Jarl Sigaard
  • Palliative Care Team, South West Jutland Hospital, Esbjerg, Denmark
  • SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Birthe Dinesen
  • Palliative Care Team, South West Jutland Hospital, Esbjerg, Denmark
  • SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-07-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.053

Abstract

Background

Placebo effects are positive treatment effects that occur because of the psycho-social context around the therapy. Such effects are well documented in pain treatment, as well as in the treatment of other common symptoms. Specialized Palliative Care focuses on the relief of pain and other symptoms in terminally ill cancer patients.

Aims

The aim of this study was to explore whether and/or how a Specialized Palliative Care Team might contribute to the creation of placebo effects.

Methods

The study was conducted as a qualitative study using a phenomenological/hermeneutic approach. A literature review was carried out to identify state-of-the-art knowledge about placebo effects. A triangulation of data collection techniques was used, including participant observations (n = 8.6 h) and a focus group interview with 7 members of the Specialized Palliative Care Team. Observations from six cases were also included. Data was analyzed using NVivo 11.0.

Findings

This study identified work routines and situation of the Specialized Palliative Care Team that had a potential for eliciting placebo effects. The value of patient collaboration for the creation of placebo effects was identified by members of the Specialized Palliative Care Team. The team’s knowledge and attitudes concerning placebo reflect the confusion that exists in general in this area.

Conclusions

This study found several work routines, already in use by the Specialized Palliative Care Team, well known for creating placebo effects. Increased knowledge and focus on this phenomenon may benefit patients.

About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-01

Published in Print: 2017-07-01


Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 183–183, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.053.

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