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Nocebo Hypothesis Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (NH-CBT): an RCT

42 months
Approved budget:
Dr Matt Richardson
Dr Dana Wong
Dr Maria Kleinstaeuber
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
NH-CBT is a treatment protocol for functional neurological symptoms. It involves transparently sharing with the patient the hypothesis that functional neurological symptoms are the result of a nocebo effect. Typically, the person then undertakes behavioural experiments that varies their attention to their symptoms, with immediate video feedback given. This usually allows the person to witness themselves functioning better, undermining their belief that they are (neurologically) damaged, thus reducing the nocebo effect and reducing symptoms. This treatment saw 93% of patients achieve full symptom remission in a consecutive case series published in 2018. It is hoped that a randomised controlled trial will show similar treatment success. If achieved, this would be very likely to surpass the current "best evidence" treatment, in terms of its effectiveness.