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Mr Doug Hardman BSc, MSc

Postgraduate research student

Mr Doug Hardman's photo

After graduating from the University of Manchester, Doug spent six years as an officer in the Royal Marines. He then worked as a risk and project management consultant for various companies, NGOs and government departments.

Doug completed an MSc Psychology degree at the University of East London in 2015, including a thesis investigating the effects of mindfulness on decision making. His research interests are interdisciplinary, focused on health interventions and outcomes.


He currently has a PhD studentship from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) and is conducting an ethnographic exploration of placebo effects in general practice.


BSc (Hons), Geology, University of Manchester (2004)

MSc, Psychology, University of East London (2015)


Research interests


An exploration of placebo effects in general practice.

Placebos have been shown to improve symptoms prevalent in primary care, including pain and depression. And surveys confirm that some clinicians use placebos clinically. However, uncertainty persists about their definition, ethical status and clinical utility.

Despite the burgeoning literature demonstrating clinical applications of placebos, considerable uncertainty remains about how placebos and their effects are used in UK settings. There has been very little in-depth research worldwide that considers clinicians’ and patients’ experiences, and minimal empirical research exploring the extensive ethical issues

My aim is to address these limitations by conducting an ethnographic exploration of placebo effects in general practice incorporating clinicians’ and patients’ perspectives.


Research group

Primary Care & Population Sciences

Affiliate research group

Primary Care Research group

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Book Chapter


Mr Doug Hardman
Primary Care and Population Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
Aldermoor Health Centre
Aldermoor Close
Southampton SO16 5ST

Room Number: 9590 AHC/125/S2

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