Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Blasi, Z., Teahan, A., Bruton, L., Murphy, M.
Innovations in Health Psychology:
 Celebrating 21 years of Health Psychology at NUI Galway
The influence of the practitioner-patient relationship on pain perception: a placebo-controlled RCT.
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
Pain is associated with high health care costs, work absenteeism and poor mental health. There is extant research on the influence of pain management interventions, however much less is known about the effects of different forms of health care interactions on pain perception. In this study, the effect of two styles of health care interaction on pain was evaluated on a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled study of 100 healthy volunteers. Fifty participants were randomised to receive an ‘enhanced’ interaction (e.g. friendly, reassuring) and 50 to receive a ‘limited’ interaction (e.g. formal, rushed) on pain threshold and pain tolerance. Participants were told that the aim of this study was to examine the effects of intranasal oxytocin on pain perception, and that they would receive either oxytocin or placebo spray. All participants were randomised to placebo. Measures included the Consultation and Relational Empathy Scale (CARE), a Credibility/Expectancy Questionnaire, and pain tolerance and threshold using the Cold Pressor Test (CPT). Participants who had an enhanced interaction had significantly higher CARE scores than the limited interaction, rating their experience more positively. Participants in the enhanced interaction had a higher pain threshold than those receiving a limited interaction. There was no significant effect on pain tolerance.