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Gender, Pain, and Placebo Analgesia

This study has been completed.
The Research Council of Norway
University of Tromso
Information provided by:
University Hospital of North Norway Identifier:
First received: April 11, 2006
Last updated: February 4, 2008
Last verified: February 2008

April 11, 2006
February 4, 2008
September 2006
Not Provided
Pain report, heart rate variability, skin conductance
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00314392 on Archive Site
Subjective arousal
Same as current
Not Provided
Not Provided
Gender, Pain, and Placebo Analgesia
Effect of Participant Gender, Experimenter Gender, and Drug-Related Information on Placebo Analgesia
The response to standard pain stimuli in males and females is investigated, together with the effect of informing participants about the effect of a painkiller. Physiological response to pain is recorded.

The social context in which pain is reported has been found to modulate pain. Specifically, male participants reporting pain to female observers report significantly lower pain levels compared to male participants reporting to male observers. Female participants seem less affected by social context. This is a methodological problem in the study of pain and has consequences in the development of new drugs, and for pain research in general.

The present study has two aims: To investigate whether social context affects also the placebo response to pain, i.e. the reduced pain often observed after administration of a an inert substance the participants believes to be a painkiller. It is hypothesized that placebo analgesia will be larger in males reporting pain to females. Secondly, heart rate variability and skin conductance, measures of parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, will be recorded, to investigate if social context affects not only pain report, but also pain response.

Not Provided
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Experimental Pain
Behavioral: Information (behavior)
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
December 2007
Not Provided

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18-40 years, healthy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • pregnant, earlier serious disease or injury,
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
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University Hospital of North Norway
  • The Research Council of Norway
  • University of Tromso
Principal Investigator: Magne Arve Flaten, PhD University of Tromso
University Hospital of North Norway
February 2008

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP