Bedside manner can affect patients’ pain

US study shows if a doctor believes in a medication, they can transfer this belief to the patient

Doctors who believe in a treatment’s effectiveness and therefore display more empathy can influence a patient’s perception of pain through a socially transmitted placebo effect, a US study suggests.

The findings, published in Nature Human Behaviour, highlight the importance of a good bedside manner and have important implications for clinical interactions, the researchers say.