• stefound


The Foundation for the Science of the Therapeutic Encounter (F-STE) was created to foster and expand scientific efforts to investigate what are often described as "placebo effects": the powerful effects of the patient-clinician relationship with its rituals, symbols and interactions.   

F-STE's goal is to harness these humanistic factors to improve health care.  


Research Interests


F-STE seeks to foster and expand scientific efforts to investigate and elucidate the therapeutic potential embedded in the clinical encounter.  F-STE will help jump-start research that targets common medical conditions and that points the way toward measurably better clinical outcomes.  Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Patient-Clinician Engagement: How can the therapeutic encounter be modified to improve clinical outcomes?  Topics could include: specific behaviors, approaches to communication (non-verbal, verbal, and written), and elements in the physical environment.

Placebo Effects in Health Care:  How can placebo effects be ethically harnessed?  Areas of inquiry could include: methods of utilizing placebos treatment such as open-label placebo and “dose extension” interventions based on conditioning paradigms (“behavioral pharmacotherapy”) and examination of ethical issues. 

Nocebo Effects in Health Care: How can nocebo effects be ethically moderated?  Topics could include: wording of informed consent and educating patients about nocebo effects.

Placebo Effects in Clinical Trials:  How can placebo-drug differences be detected efficiently?  Questions of interest could include predicting placebo responders and enrichment strategies.

The typical grant is in the vicinity of $25,000 and the foundation's by-laws limit payment of indirect costs to 10% of total grant amount.

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