Abstract/Details

Pulling back the curtain on placebo: The search for a relationship between anxiety and placebo response


2007 2007

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Abstract (summary)

The prevalence of placebo effects as identified throughout history suggests that they are an archetypal feature of human experience. Because the design of current psychopharmacological research focuses heavily on establishing drug efficacy in studies controlled with placebo, any facet that may eventually be removed from the placebo response may yield needed clarity in future studies of experimental medication. Placebo response in clinical research and experimental drug trials has been described as ubiquitous; however, some medical conditions are more responsive to placebo than others. One such relationship that appears in the literature but has been scantly studied is the dynamic between anxiety and placebo response. This current research endeavor was guided by the hypothesis that patient anxiety at pre-test would demonstrate a positive relationship with measures of depression severity change scores following standardized treatment with a placebo. In order to test the strength of this relationship, archival data from clinical trials of the antidepressant medication Escitalopram were analyzed. Placebo response was measured by calculating global change scores on the pre- and post-test Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) following one week of single-blind placebo treatment. Principal components analysis was conducted and an interpretable subscale of the HAM-D depression measure emerged after oblique rotation. This subscale was used to assess pre-test patient somatic anxiety. Correlations between this somatic anxiety subfactor and change scores in core depression items of the HAM-D achieved r(128) = .14, p = .056. Insofar as correlations demonstrated that the relationship between anxiety and placebo response exists in the direction of the hypothesis, implications for the continued practice of pharmaceutical research and therapeutic placebo treatment are discussed.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Psychotherapy;
Placebo effect;
Psychopharmacology
Classification
0622: Psychotherapy
Identifier / keyword
Psychology; Antidepressants; Anxiety; Placebo response; Psychopharmacology
Title
Pulling back the curtain on placebo: The search for a relationship between anxiety and placebo response
Author
Goto, Kristine Kimiko
Number of pages
101
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2007
School code
0010
Source
DAI-B 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549310853
University/institution
Arizona State University
University location
United States -- Arizona
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3287950
ProQuest document ID
304896332
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304896332
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