Who we are

Yekize aims to raise awareness of the placebo effect and how it could be put to use to improve global health outcomes. We want people to know what the placebo effect is and what it is not. But more importantly, we want everyone to understand the potential of the placebo effect to improve health outcomes now and in the future.

What is the placebo effect?

Placebos are more than just sugar pills or saline injections. Placebos can involve fake treatments, but it also involves the whole context or ritual around treatment. The doctor-patient relationship, the clinical environment and branding can all influence the placebo response.

How could placebos improve global health outcomes?

Both humans and animals can respond to placebos to varying degrees. This suggests that there was some innate evolutionary advantage to this. If it helped our ancestors, could it now help us too? With the existence of modern medicine, we don’t need to rely on placebos anymore.

At Yekize, we would never advocate replacing conventional treatment with placebos without a strong evidence base to back that up. But, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the placebo effect.

Some diseases or conditions currently have no effective treatment – perhaps a placebo is better than nothing. It’s possible that placebo conditioning could help reduce the amount of active medications required, which has obvious benefits in resource-poor environments. Or, as we mentioned earlier, the placebo effect is more than sham treatments. If we better understand how placebo response can be influenced by the context surrounding the treatment, we could help everyone to make the most of their treatments by embracing the placebo effect and minimising the nocebo effects.

How you can get involved

The easiest way to get involved is to read some of our blog posts and to engage in a discussion in the comments. We’re always happy to learn from others and the perspective they can bring.

If you want to do a little bit more to help us, please get in touch and let us know how you’d like to help. People with an interest in the placebo effect, enthusiastic writers and graphic/web designers are always needed. You can really make a difference.

Lastly, you can also donate to our organisation. No matter how big, your donation will help us to maintain and grow our organisation. Please contact us to find out more.