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DSECT/DSEN Monthly Seminar Series - Feb 28 2019

“Placebos: Our Most Effective Therapies?”


Presented by

Dr. Anne Holbrook, MD PharmD MSc FRCPC

Director, Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, McMaster University


Thursday, February 28, 2019 3-4pm EDT

Online via GoToWebinar





Placebos are inert substances or sham procedures designed to appear identical to the active substance or procedure but without known therapeutic effect. Placebo/nocebo Response is defined as the psychophysiologic effect associated with placebos. Their use in clinical practice has been highly controversial yet research clearly proves a strongly beneficial effect for many symptoms.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To learn about the magnitude and type of placebo/nocebo effect
  2. To review the role of placebos in research
  3. To discuss the frontiers of placebos in research and practice


Crum A. JAMA Published online April 13, 2017; Placebo effect studies are susceptible to response bias and to other types of biases. Asbjørn Hrobjartsson, Ted J. Kaptchuk, Franklin G. Miller. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2011;64:1223-1229; Holbrook A et al. Placebos. Wiley Encyclopedia of Clinical Trials, Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc