Problems with the use of placebo conditions in psychotherapy research, suggested alternatives, and some strategies for the pursuit of the placebo phenomenon

T. D. Borkovec, Nicholas J. Sibrava

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the numerous conceptual, methodological, and ethical problems that are associated with placebo conditions in psychotherapy research, their use should be abandoned, and more powerful therapy outcome designs (dismantling, additive, parametric, and catalytic) that can contribute to basic knowledge through their ability to isolate specific cause-and-effect relationships are recommended. On the other hand, if indeed the placebo effect is a reliable phenomenon, it would be wise to pursue its causal mechanisms, and some research strategies for initiating such pursuit are briefly described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-818
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume61
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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