Friday, September 23rd
Leveraging Mindsets to Ethically Harness the Placebo Effect in Adults and Youth
Dr. Lauren Heathcote will argue that the power of the placebo does not reside in the sham treatment itself; rather, it comes from the psychosocial forces that surround the patient and the treatment. To that end, she will share new data suggesting that ‘mindsets’ are key mechanisms involved in the placebo effect in both adults and in youth. In a series of new cross-sectional studies, she will show that mindsets about the body and its capacity to heal are uniquely associated with pain outcomes in over 200 children and adults with chronic pain as well as childhood cancer survivors. She will also share the findings of a new experimental study with 800 adults receiving the covid vaccine, in which a brief body mindset intervention changed the report and experience of aches and pains and other flu-like symptoms; this mindset intervention is now being applied to youth undergoing painful surgical procedures.