Expectations influence treatment outcomes

What happens in the brain and body during this process?
How do we explain individual differences?
Can the effects be used to benefit patients?

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You must know that the will is a powerful adjuvant of medicine.

Paracelsus
(1493 – 1541)

Experiences and expectations are powerful therapeutic tools.

It was not Paracelsus, the Swiss physician, natural philosopher and alchemist, who first realised this. It has been known for thousands of years.

But what effects do positive and negative patient expectations have on treatment outcomes today? To answer this question, interdisciplinary research teams are working in close cooperation on 16 projects.

The researchers and clinicians involved in "Treatment Expectation", the project title of Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 289, aim to unlock the neurobiological and psychological mechanisms behind treatment expectation effects, understand differences between individual patients and examine how the results can be applied to everyday clinical practice.

The hope is to extend the range of treatment options for millions of patients.

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