In the past few decades, research on pain and placebo analgesia has gained importance both scientifically and clinically. In this article, the current findings and focus of research as well as the significance of placebo research for assessing the effectiveness of pain medication are illustrated. The underlying mechanisms of placebo analgesia not only have implications for theoretical models but also offer clinically relevant guidelines for everyday interventions in pain treatment. However, many placebo phenomena are not fully understood and have to be investigated further in order to exploit the full potential of placebo effects. Interindividual differences and their inclusion in treatment will play a major role in this aspect.
Keywords: Open-label placebo treatment; Placebo analgesia; Placebo research; Social learning; Treatment expectations.