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Table 1 Clinical application of contextual factors. The table presents examples of use of contextual factors aimed to enhance placebo effects and avoid nocebo effects. Adapted from [16, 17, 19]

From: Context matters: the psychoneurobiological determinants of placebo, nocebo and context-related effects in physiotherapy

Contextual factors Actions to enhance (placebo effects) Actions to avoid (nocebo effects)
(A) Physiotherapist’s features • improve physiotherapist’s professionalism;
• be aware of physiotherapist’s mindset;
• promote physiotherapist’s appearance;
• overlook physiotherapist’s professionalism;
• be unaware of physiotherapist’s mindset;
• disregard physiotherapist’s appearance;
(B) Patient’s features • examine patients’ mindset;
• analyse patients’ baseline;
• neglect patients’ mindset;
• ignore patients’ baseline;
(C) Patient-physiotherapist relationship • manage verbal communication;
• optimise non-verbal communication;
• neglect verbal communication;
• ignore non-verbal communication;
(D) Treatment features • amplify the rituality of treatments;
• be aware of therapeutic touch;
• consider the modality/posology of treatment;
• use marketing of treatment;
• limit the rituality of treatments;
• be unaware of therapeutic touch;
• omit the modality/posology of treatment;
• neglect marketing of treatment;
(E) Healthcare setting features • adopt positive distractors and supportive indications;
• use comfort elements, decorations and ornaments;
• avoid positive distractors and supportive indications;
• omit comfort elements, decorations and ornaments;