John Kelley Professor of Psychology at Endicott College, Deputy Director of the Program in Placebo Studies, the Therapeutic Encounter at Harvard Medical School, United States of America.
Efficacy of open-label placebos in RCTs, and possible clinical applications in mainstream medicine
I will review several recent randomized controlled trials that suggest that open-label placebos can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, cancer-related fatigue, and chronic low back pain. In addition to discussing how open-label placebos might be used in mainstream medical care, I will also discuss the possibility of using “authorized concealment” as a method for reducing the dosage of pain medication necessary to produce effective analgesia. In the potential clinical applications of both open-label placebo and authorized concealment, I will pay particular attention to the critical role of the patient-clinician relationship in producing beneficial effects. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, open-label placebo and authorized concealment both have the potential to reduce the incidence of addiction to pain medications, which is of particular concern given the ongoing opioid crisis.
John Kelley, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Endicott College, the Deputy Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Harvard Medical School, and a licensed clinical psychologist. His research interests include investigating the placebo effect in medical and psychiatric disorders, and understanding how the patient-clinician relationship affects healthcare outcomes in medicine and psychiatry. Dr. Kelley has served as a co-investigator or consultant on 10 National Institutes of Health research grants, and he is the author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications.