The Competence Team Placebo

The Placebo Competence Team was founded to translate the most current scientific knowledge about the mechanisms steering the placebo response into concepts of clinical research and clinical practice. No matter if you are planning extensive clinical studies, programs to avoid nocebo effects, or if you intend to optimize the efficacy of therapeutic interventions via scientifically founded designs of treatment options, the Placebo Competence Team will provide the right answers.

As scientists with international reputation and long-standing clinical and research experience, we offer our expertise based on the latest knowledge in placebo research.


Bayern2/Radiowissen, 24. April 2015Wie ist es mög...
The nocebo effect, BBC Radio 4, Jan. 2015

Mechanisms of the Placebo Response

A placebo is characterized as a pharmacological ineffective ingredient or a treatment with unspecific effect. The placebo response is the positive effect that is caused by this nonspecific ingredient or treatment. The placebo response is mediated primarily via distinct but interrelated mechanisms: cognitive factors such as patient expectations of the benefit of a treatment, the quality of patient-doctor relationship and associative learning (conditioning) processes. Correspondingly, the terms nocebo response/nocebo effect refers to negative effects that are caused by nonspecific treatment ingredients or treatments, steered by mechanisms similar to those responsible for the placebo response. In a broader sense, nocebo effects are also assumed if a patient believes to suffer from a disease that is not present, or in case of a misdiagnosed disease.


Fields of Application

Placebo- and nocebo effects play a pivotal role in clinical research as well as in daily clinical practice.


In order to fit the different requirements, specific questions and needs, the offer of the Placebo-Competence Team provides a modular structure. You can choose those modules which match best the individual requirements of your company or clinic. We are pleased to assist you to compose a specific tailored program.