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The nocebo effect : when words make you sick  Cover Image Book Book

The nocebo effect : when words make you sick / edited by Michael H. Bernstein, Ph.D., Charlotte Blease, Ph.D., Cosima Locher, Ph.D., and Walter A. Brown, M.D.


"7 billion doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered around the world, with nearly 400 million doses in the United States alone. Undoubtedly, the vaccine has saved, and will continue to save, countless lives. While we should appreciate these innovations of modern-day medical science, the vaccine has not been universally accepted, hampering our efforts to reduce harm. Side-effects of the COVID vaccine are widely discussed in news outlets. Countless online discussion boards teem with anecdotes of people feeling sick after getting jabbed. This is no surprise as we construct stories to describe and find meaning in our experience. Human ancestors may have shared such stories around the campfire; in modern times, we have a vast array of social media platforms which may serve the same evolutionary function. But lost in this discussion of side effects, and ignored by the CDC, vaccine experts and the media, is the inconvenient fact that a significant portion of these side effects are not actually caused by the vaccine. Instead, they are the result of our negative expectations, the so-called nocebo effect. The nocebo effect stems from the Latin word nocere, which translates roughly as "to harm" and can be best summarized as the occurrence of a harmful event that stems from consciously or subconsciously anticipating or expecting it. We are just discovering the power behind this phenomenon, as explored in the groundbreaking research of a dozen top level researchers. While there has never before been such a massive demonstration of the nocebo effect as with the COVID vaccine, there are myriad other examples throughout history, and recent studies have documented the critical role of the nocebo effect in treatment side effects--such as with statins for high cholesterol--and the psychological and social processes that produce these effects, such as the higher incidence of complaints after negative media reports of certain medicines, all the way to the illnesses associated with the Havana Syndrome, during which dozens of US government employees fell ill after reportedly being exposed to an unidentified sound wave. Most importantly, researchers have investigated strategies that can be adopted by both clinicians and patients to reduce the nocebo effect"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9798887700243
  • Physical Description: viii, 246 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: Rochester, MN : Mayo Clinic Press, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
The nocebo effect in the clinic -- When psychotherapy harms -- The nocebi effect and COVID-19 -- What is the nocebo effect? : a philosophical perspective -- The biology of nocebo effects -- How the mind creates nocebo effects -- The ethics of nocebo effects -- How clinicians can minimize nocebo effects -- Protecting yourself from nocebo effects -- Nocebo, the environment, and public health -- The nocebo effect and the media -- From genetical shrinking panics to humming giraffes : the many different faces of the nocebo effect.
Subject: COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine hesitancy.
Nocebo Effect.
COVID-19 Vaccines.
Vaccination Hesitancy.
Patient Harm > psychology.
Public Opinion.
Vaccins contre la COVID-19.
Réticence à la vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine hesitancy.
United States.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 615.3 NOC (Text) 000174030 New Books Available -

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