"To Expect a Treatment is in Itself a Treatment"? Unleashing the Power of Placebo and Nocebo Effects in Healthcare

placebo; noplacebo, therapeutic outcomes
  • Date: 24 OCTOBER 2023  from 15:30 to 18:00

  • Event location: Sala VIII Centenario, Palazzo Poggi, via Zamboni 33, 40126 Bologna, Italy - In presence and online event

Distinguished international scientists will discuss how to achieve synergies between cognitive and affective neuroscience, medical practice, and the best possible clinical outcomes. Specifically, the focus of the event will be on the most recent scientific evidence on placebo and nocebo effects.

The event is part of the PANACEA project, a European higher education program, coordinated by the University of Bologna. The project aims to increase the knowledge of medical students and health professionals about the mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects, thereby providing evidence-based guidance for clinical practice.

Higher education on the topic of placebo and nocebo effects can bring several added values and key benefits, such as:

1) Improved understanding of patient care by understanding how patients' beliefs, expectations, and perceptions can influence treatment outcomes.

2) Improved communication skills by learning how to explain complex medical concepts, manage patient expectations, and address concerns about treatment.

3) Optimizing treatment outcomes by incorporating placebo and by reducing nocebo responses into patients' treatment plans

4) Improving evidence-based practice and critical evaluation of research and clinical trials, leading to more accurate assessment of treatment efficacy.

5) Promoting patient-centred care, recognizing the importance of treating not only the physical aspects of the disease, but also the psychological and social dimensions that influence treatment outcomes.

 The Una Europa Alliance is affiliate partner.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Johan W.S. Vlaeyen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven): “Placebo procedures: what works for whom?”

Prof. Antonio Portoles (Complutense University of Madrid): “The measure of placebo effect: placebo group in clinical trials on analgesics”

Prof. Przemyslaw Babel (Uniwersytet Jagiellonski): "Could Pain Be Unlearned? From Experimental Studies on Placebo Effects to Their Implications for Clinical Practice"

Prof. Andrea Evers (University of Leiden): “The role of the health care provider-patient interaction in modulating treatment effects: Translating experimental procedures from placebo and nocebo effects to clinical interventions”


Fill in the registration form above to participate in the conference (both on site and online).

Link to attend online on Microsoft Teams