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The Nocebo Effect in Childbirth Classes

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Patients are well-known to experience a placebo response to medications or treatments. It is less well-known that they can also experience a nocebo response where they have negative effects from something that should be ineffective. In recent literature, the words of medical providers have been demonstrated to create illness responses without physical cause. This column examines ways in which the content and teaching techniques that are often part of Lamaze childbirth education may elicit a nocebo response and negatively influence women’s confidence and ability to give birth.

Keywords: childbirth education; empowerment; nocebo effect; nocebo response

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-01-01

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