Exciting placebo research to be unveiled at literary event

Professor Jeremy Howick

Ground-breaking research into the study of placebos will be discussed next week at an event celebrating some of the UK’s most exciting writers.

Best-selling author Professor Jeremy Howick will launch his new book, The Power of Placebos: How the Science of Placebos and Nocebos Can Improve Health Care, during a special satellite event of the Leicester Literary Festival.

Drawing on more than 20 years of research and data from over 300,000 patients, the new book offers practical ways that researchers, policymakers and doctors can use placebo and nocebo research to improve health outcomes.

Professor Howick, who is director of the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare based at the University of Leicester, said: “Placebos are the most widely used treatments in the history of medicine and thousands of studies show they can be effective.

“However, there’s confusion about what placebos are, and how to measure their effects, which prevents some doctors from using them to help their patients.

“During next week’s event we’ll be exploring whether a revolution in placebo studies is needed and I’ll be encouraging researchers to bridge the gap between academia and real-world patient care.

“We look forward to welcoming attendees to join the debate on unleashing the untapped potential of placebos and confronting ethical considerations for a healthcare transformation.”

The event, Do Placebo Studies Need Another Revolution? A conversation with Professor Jeremy Howick, will be hosted by Professor Andrew Papanikitas who is deputy editor of the British Journal of General Practice.

It will take place at the Attenborough Film Theatre at the University of Leicester and on Teams Live from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday, May 16. To secure your free place, go to www.tickettailor.com/events/literaryleicester2024/1209248

Remote viewing details will be available to those who register shortly before the event.

Professor Howick’s new book is available from www.press.jhu.edu/books/title/12830/power-placebos