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Abstract

Health care providers are expected both to relieve pain and to provide anticipatory guidance regarding how much a procedure is going to hurt. Fulfilling those expectations is complicated by the cognitive modulation of pain perception. Warning people to expect pain or setting expectations for pain relief not only influences their subjective experience, but it also alters how nociceptive stimuli are processed throughout the sensory and discriminative pathways in the brain. In light of this, I reconsider the characterization of placebo analgesia as pharmacologically inert and the use of it as deceptive. I show that placebo analgesia exploits the same physical mechanisms as proven analgesics and argue that it should be utilized to relieve pain. Additionally, I describe factors to help identify situations in which clinicians have the obligation to disclose the potential for pain coupled with ways of mitigating the risk of high-intensity pain by setting positive expectations.

Forthcoming events

Richard Doll Seminar: Are journals an endangered species?

Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar rooms, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Ethox and WEH Seminar - Beyond Hype: Opportunities and Challenges in mHealth

Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 11am to 12.30pm @ Seminar room 0, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Richard Doll Seminar - Preconception health: what, why, how, when and for whom?

Tuesday, 04 June 2019, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar rooms, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Richard Doll Seminar - The Mobile Malaria Project

Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar rooms, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Adaptive Designs Workshop

Wednesday, 12 June 2019, 1pm to 4pm @ Seminar room 1, Big Data Institute, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Richard Doll Seminar - Some contemporary insights into cardio-vascular risk

Tuesday, 18 June 2019, 1pm to 3pm @ Seminar rooms, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF