Avoiding nocebo and boosting placebo - contextual factors with Dr Giacomo Rossettini

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Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.

On this episode I speak with Dr Giacomo Rossettini. Giacomo is an MSK physiotherapist and researcher from Italy. He competed his PhD’ degree in Neuroscience in 2018 and has been working as a physiotherapist since 2009 specializing in Rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal Disorders.

He is a lecturer of Methodology and Clinical Practice of the Cervical Spine in the Master’s program of Rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal Disorders at Genova University and, he also lectures at Verona University: Bachelor’s program of Manual Therapy in Physiotherapy.

In the last 2 years he has promoted in Italy his course on "placebo, nocebo effects and contextual factors in physiotherapy and musculoskeletal pain”.

Giacomo has a growing track record of research into placebo, nocebo and contextual effects in relation to MSK healthcare practice (see here). Some of his excellent papers on these topics can be found here, here and here and have contributed to the Words Matter online course (see here).

In this episode we talk about:

  • the nature and definitions of placebo, nocebo and contextual effects.
  • how enriching our clinical rituals can constitute a contextual effect and boost placebo.
  • avoiding nocebo through unhelpful clinical practice, communication and interaction.
  • touch on the ethics of utilising contextual factors to enhance the placebo effect.
  • we discuss the challenge of the lack of contextual factors and the ability to control such factors which has been placed on clinicians through face masks and conducting appointments via telehealth during the pandemic.

Huge thanks and applause to Giacomo for stepping up to the challenge and chatting in English- if we were relying on my Italian the podcast would never have happened and we’d all miss out on his incredibly informant information and experience.

I bring you Dr Giacomo Rossettini

Find Giacomo on Twitter @GiacomoRoss86

If you liked the podcast, you'll love the Words Matter online course on effective language and communication when managing back pain - ideal for all MSK therapists and students.

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