Dr Kate Faasse

Dr Kate Faasse

Dr Kate Faasse

Senior Lecturer & ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow

BSc (Psychology) / BMus (Composition), 2007, The University of Auckland
PGDipSci (Health Psychology), 2008, The University of Auckland
MSc (Health Psychology), 2009, The University of Auckland
PhD (Health Psychology), 2013, The University of Auckland
Edith C Coan Auckland Medical Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2013-2014, The University of Auckland
PHARMAC Research Fellow, 2015-2016, The University of Auckland

Contact details

Phone: +61 (2) 9385 0364
Email: Dr Kate Faasse

Office: Mathews, Room 1104

Research Summary

Research Areas: My research programme in health psychology is concentrated on psychological and social factors that influence medication effectiveness and side effects. In particular, my research utilises the study of placebo and nocebo effects to investigate these factors. My work helps to elucidate the mind-body factors that contribute to treatment outcomes. It is also of clinical importance; many people take one or more medications on a regular basis, and increasing treatment effectiveness and reducing side effects is important in managing healthcare costs, as well as increasing treatment adherence, improving health outcomes, and enhancing patient quality of life. My research program utilises both laboratory-based experimental approaches as well as naturalistic and quasi-experimental methods.

My recent and current research investigates the influence of social modelling of both side effects and medication benefits, perceptions of medication branding and generic drugs, how having a choice of treatments (compared to no choice) impacts health outcomes, the influence of medication price, and how changes in medications (e.g. a change to a different brand or formulation) can impact placebo and nocebo responding. I also explore the interplay of these factors with large scale medication brand or formulation switches (e.g. a change in the inert binding agents of the medication, appearance, taste, packaging, or manufacturer) to understand public responses. These medication switches can have an impact on both an individual and a group level. Such processes appear to hold the potential to elicit health scares and mass psychogenic illness group processes in response to what should be non-consequential brand or formulation changes. Moreover, the extent and nature of the news media coverage in such health scares appears to strongly influence the social and public consequences.

I'm also interested in perceptions of generic medicines, beliefs about medicine and vaccination more generally, and using publically available data (e.g. media reporting, social media, adverse event reporting) to gain unique insights into peoples' perceptions of health topics, and the influence of the media on health outcomes. 



Faasse, K., Huynh, A., Pearson, S., Geers, A.L., Helfer, S.G., & Colagiuri, B. (in press). The influence of side effect information framing on nocebo effects. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

 Faasse, K., & Martin, L.R. (2018). The power of labelling in nocebo effects. International Review of Neurobiology: Neurobiology of the Placebo Effect Part II, 139, 379–406. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2018.07.016

Martin, L.R., Feig, C., Maksoudian, C.R., Wysong, K., & Faasse, K. (2018). A perspective on nonadherence to drug therapy: psychological barriers and strategies to overcome nonadherence. Patient Preference and Adherence, 12, 1527-1535. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S155971

El Brihi, J., Horne, R., & Faasse, K. (2018). Prescribing placebos: factors contributing to open-label placebo efficacy. doi: 10.1093/abm/kay011

Faasse, K., Yeom, B., Parkes, B., Kearney, J., & Petrie, K.J. (2018). The role of social modelling, gender, and empathy in nocebo responding. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. doi: 10.1093/abm/kax025


Faasse, K., Faasse., J.R., Porsuis, J., & Martin, L.R. (2017). Bad news: the influence of news coverage and Google searches on Gardasil adverse event reporting. Vaccine. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.10.004

Faasse, K., Perera, A., Loveys, K., Grey, A., & Petrie, K.J. (2017). Enhancing treatment effectiveness through social modelling: A pilot study. Psychology & Health. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2017.1293056


Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2016). From Me to You: The Effect of Social Modeling on Treatment Outcomes. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K., & Thomas M.G. (2016).  Public perception of risk from the Ebola virus, willingness to vaccinate and likely behavioural responses to an outbreak. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

Colgan, S.L.E., Faasse, K., Pereira, J.A., Grey, A., & Petrie, K.J. (2016). Changing perceptions and efficacy of generic medicines: An intervention study. Health Psychology. 

Faasse, K., Martin, L., Grey, A., Gamble, G., & Petrie, K.J. (2016).  The impact of brand or generic labelling on medication effectiveness and side effects. Health Psychology, 35, 187-190.

Bartley, H., Faasse, K., Horne, R., & Petrie, K.J. (2016).You can’t always get what you want: The influence of choice on nocebo and placebo responding. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. doi: 10.1007/s12160-016-9772-1

Stephens, M.H., Grey, A., Fernandez, J., Kalluru, R., Horne, A., Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2016).  3-D bone models to improve treatment initiation among patients with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial.  Psychology and Health, 31, 487-486.  doi: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1112389

O’Sullivan, A.T., Rowley, S., Ellis, S., Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2016). The validity and clinical utility of the COVERS scale and Pain Assessment Tool for assessing pain in neonates admitted to an intensive care unit.  Clinical Journal of Pain, 32, 51-7


Faasse, K., Grey, A., Jordan, R., Garland, S., & Petrie, K.J. (2015). Seeing is believing: Impact of the social modelling on placebo and nocebo responding.  Health Psychology.

Faasse, K., Grey, A., Horne, R., & Petrie, K.J. (2015).  High perceived sensitivity to medicines is associated with higher medical care utilisation, increased symptom reporting and a greater reporting of unusual symptoms. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. DOI: 10.1002/pds.3751

Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2015). Stress, coping and health. Wright, J.D (ed.). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition. Oxford: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016.B978-0-08-097086-8.14133-9 

Patience, A., Amir, N., Ellis, C.J., O’Sullivan, A.T., Faasse, K.,  Gamble, G., & Petrie, K.J. (2015). Does the early feedback of results improve reassurance following diagnostic testing? A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 34, 216-221. doi: 10.1037/hea000109

Colgan, S.L.E., Faasse, K., Martin, L.R., Stephens, M.H., Grey, A., & Petrie, K.J. (2015). Perceptions of generic medication in the general population, doctors and pharmacists: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 5:e008915doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008915


Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2014). Influenza A virus subtype H1N1. Encyclopedia of Health Communication. SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA.  

Grey, A., Tan, K., Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K., & Bolland, M.J. (2014). Adverse drug reactions: authors’ reply to MacDonald and Etminan. BMJ, 349, g5523, doi: 10.1136/bmj.g5523

Tan, K., Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K., Bollard, M., & Grey, A. (2014). Unhelpful advice on adverse drug reactions. BMJ, 349, g5019. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g5019

Perera, A.I., Thomas, M.G., Moore, J.O., Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2014). Effect of a smartphone application incorporating personalized health-related imagery on adherence to antiretroviral therapy: a randomized clinical trial.AIDS Patient Care and STDs doi: 10.1089/apc.2014.0156

Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K.., Crichton, F., & Grey, A. (2014). How common are symptoms? Evidence from a New Zealand national telephone survey.  BMJ Open, 4:e005374. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005374


Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2013).  The nocebo effect: patient expectations and medication side effects. Postgraduate Medical Journal. Postgraduate Medical Journal. doi:10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131730

Faasse, K., Cundy, T., Gamble, G., Petrie, K.J. (2013). The effect of an apparent change to a branded or generic medication on drug effectiveness and side effects. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2013, 75, 90-96. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182738826

Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K., Notman, T.A., & O'Carroll, R. (2013). How distressing is it to participate in medical research? A calibration study using everyday events. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine- Short Reports.

Horne, R., Faasse, K., Cooper, V., Diefenbach, M., Leventhal, H., Leventhal, E.A., & Petrie, K.J. (2013). The perceived sensitivity to medicines (PSM) scale: an evaluation of validity  and reliability. British Journal of Health Psychology; 18, 18-30.  

2012 and earlier

Faasse, K., Gamble, G., Cundy, T., & Petrie, K.J. (2012). The impact of television coverage on the number and type of symptoms reported during a health scare. BMJ Open, 2, e001607. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001607

Tausczik, Y., Faasse, K., Pennebaker, J.W., & Petrie, K.J. (2012). Public anxiety and information seeking following the H1N1 outbreak: Blogs, newspaper articles, and Wikipedia visits. Health Communication; 27, 179-185. 

Faasse, K., Cundy, T., & Petrie, K.J. (2010). Thyroxine: anatomy of a health scare. BMJ; 340, 20-21.

Petrie, K.J., & Faasse, K. (2009). Monitoring public anxiety about flu. BMJ Blogshttp://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2009/06/11

Petrie, K.J., Faasse, K., & Fuhrmann, S.A.I. (2008). Influence of television on demand for  cosmetic surgery. The Medical Journal of Australia; 189, 244-245.

Faasse, K., & Johnson, M. (2008). The role of associative learning in chronic pain. Ngau Mamae; 8, 12-19.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

2018-2021 “Expecting the worst: psychosocial contributors to the nocebo effect.” Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award. Principal Investigator. 

2015-2016 “The influence of gender on the impact of social modelling of drug effectiveness and side effects.” Auckland Medical Research Foundation. Principal Investigator.

2015-2016 “How does seeing another person’s response to taking a medication shape treatment effectiveness and side effects?” Summer Research Scholarship Fund, The University of Auckland. Principal Investigator.

2015-2016 “Psychological influences on the efficacy and side-effects associated with generic drugs and biosimilars.” New Zealand Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC), Health Funding Authority. Co-Investigator.

2015-2016 “A survey about New Zealand public concerns of the Ebola virus.” A+ Trust, Auckland District Health Board. Co-Investigator.

2014-2015 “Systematic review of general population and health professional perceptions of generic medicines.” Performance Based Research Fund, The University of Auckland. Co-Investigator.

2013-2015 “Are generic medicines actually less effective and more likely to cause side effects, or do we just believe that they are?” Auckland Medical Research Foundation (Edith C Coan Postdoctoral Fellowship). Principal Investigator. 

2013-2014 “The influence of social modelling on treatment efficacy and side effects.” Summer Research Scholarship Fund, The University of Auckland. Principal Investigator.

2013-2014 “Psychological influences on perceptions of, efficacy, and side effects of generic medicines.” PHARMAC NZ, Health Funding Authority. Co-Investigator.

2010-2011 “The impact of a change from a brand name to a generic drug on placebo and nocebo effects.” Faculty Research Development Fund, The University of Auckland. Co-Investigator.

Current Research Students

Bianca Ton

Annalise Battistella

Rachelle Wang

Emily Babbage

Clancy Black

Natalie Reily

Tavis Watt