IntroductionPlacebos have repeatedly been found to relieve pain and other symptoms, presumably through expectancies (Kirsch, ; Benedetti, ; Peerdeman et al., ). Not all placebos affect pain equally. An important treatment characteristic that has been associated with differential placebo effects on pain is the route of medication administration. It is frequently suggested that more invasive routes of medication administration (such as injections) lead to enhanced placebo effects (Lasagna, ; Kaptchuk et al., ; Schwartz et al., ). Indeed, placebo injections have been found to be more effective for relieving pain than oral placebos (de Craen et al., ; Zhang et al., ; Bannuru et al., ; Peerdeman et al., ). However, many research findings, looking also into other routes, are mixed regarding the possible enhanced effectiveness of more invasive routes for relieving pain (Macedo et al., ; Meissner et al., ; Bannuru et al., ; Fassler et al., ), while one study did not show substantial differences between different routes at all (Schwartz et al., ). Since differential placebo effects have important implications for clinical trials and clinical practice, further research into the underlying expectations about the effectiveness of medication administered via different routes is required.For further research, several factors should be considered. First, most previous research compared the placebo control
European Journal of Pain – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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