Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The placebo effect in psychiatry: problem or solution?
  1. Susan Huculak
  1. Correspondence to Susan Huculak, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, 3rd Floor, TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4Z6; huculaks{at}


This opinion piece aims to situate the placebo effect within the field of psychiatric treatment. To accomplish this, the placebo is explored at the centre of an often heated debate between three discrete perspectives: the clinical trial researcher, the placebo researcher and the clinician. Each occupational perspective has its own vested interests and practical concerns that drive how the placebo concepts are negotiated and applied. It is argued that because the trial and placebo researchers typically represent opposing viewpoints, clinicians are generally uncomfortable or even baffled by placebo concepts, and this three-way tension has crucial implications for the field's progress.

  • Informed Consent
  • Psychiatry

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Other content recommended for you