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The University of Southampton
MedicinePostgraduate study

Mr Doug Hardman BSc, MSc

Postgraduate research student

Mr Doug Hardman's photo

Doug passed his PhD viva in September 2019 and has taken up a position as a Lecturer at Bournemouth University. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2004 and 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.

Doug's PhD studentship was funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) and the subject title was 'From inert pills to subjunctive medicine: an exploration of the placebo effect 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 and Medical Education

Affiliate research group

Primary Care Research group

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Mr Doug Hardman
Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education
Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
Aldermoor Health Centre
Aldermoor Close
Southampton SO16 5ST
Tel: 023 8059 1759

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