Expectancy Effect in Three Mind-Body Clinical Trials

Matthew Hicks, Douglas Hanes, Helané Wahbeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Expectancy, arguably the prime component of the placebo effect, has been shown to significantly modify the effects of many treatments. Furthermore, various forms of mind-body interventions have demonstrated effective improvements in outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between pretreatment expectations and symptom reduction in a secondary analysis of 3 mind-body intervention programs. An adjusted correlation and regression analysis compared data from a 6-question expectancy questionnaire to a self-reported clinical impression of change score. Only 1 of the 6 expectancy questions in 1 of the 3 studies reached significance (B = 0.087; P =.025). The combined data from all 3 studies did not reveal significant expectancy effects. The positive effects of mindfulness meditation appear to be independent of an expectancy effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NP103-NP109
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • expectancy
  • meditation
  • mind-body
  • mindfulness-based stress reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Expectancy Effect in Three Mind-Body Clinical Trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this