Placebos & Cyclones–it’s becoming even more interesting at ACSP

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ACSP members learning how to manage trauma on the pitch.

The Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP) has been holding its annual conference in Coffs Harbour, NSW.  We have one more post coming from our intrepid correspondent Dr. Hamish Osborne.

Yes, ‘intrepid’–as he remains on site for the end of the conference and post-conference proceedings,  Cyclone Marcia approaches.  Hamish, I wish we had a live feed showing the wind whipping your hair while you stand on a quay.
In truth, stay safe: and we look forward already to your posts from the next ACSP meeting.
As a category 5 cyclone bears down on our coast the Australasian College of Sports Physicians annual scientific conference has drawn to a close. The most fascinating talk  on the final day was by A/Prof Damien Finniss from University of Sydney. He is a pain specialist with a special interest in placebo. You don’t have to deliver a placebo for placebo to be working. The social interaction of a consultation, context, cost, choice of words all have a placebo effect that overlays our intervention. This means we as clinicians are using placebo all the time in practice – wow, just now need to think a bit harder about that and how to be more efficient when using it.
Not all of us have gone home from conference – 40 fellows and trainees have stayed on for a Management of Sporting Trauma course. Basic and advanced life support skills and management of serious acute conditions are important skills that every sports physician hopes they never have to use on the side of a sporting field.
So tomorrow we will finally wrap it all up and hopefully be out of beautiful Coffs Harbour before the storm surge and rain flood our way out. Keep an eye out on our website for next year’s conference location and dates.  Remember February in Australia is (normally) warm/hot and the scenery world renowned. Would love to see you all down under next February – put it in your diary.
Thanks again Hamish.  And Cyclone Marcia is no figment of the imagination, for sure:  get out of Coffs Harbour in one piece!


The intrepid Hamish Osborne: our CJSM reporter and ACSP instructor

To our readers, I’d encourage you to check out just one of CJSM’s offerings on the issue of placebo in sports medicine:  a fine 2008 piece of original research from (fittingly) an Australian group, “Characterizing the Effectiveness of the Placebo Effect in Sports Medicine.”  Listening to Dr. Finniss, reading the research, we all might just approach our next patient in a slightly different, more efficacious manner.

About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Deputy Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

One Response to Placebos & Cyclones–it’s becoming even more interesting at ACSP

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