The power of positive thinking - another reminder!
- Health - Reuters - updated 7:41 PM ET Sep 3
Monday September 3 7:32 PM ET
Patient Expectations May Influence Recovery
By Charnicia E. Huggins
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Optimism may be good for
your health, according to a review of scientific
studies on the topic. Patients who had positive
expectations about their recuperation usually had a
good recovery, researchers report.
``There is scientific evidence that when patients have
positive thoughts and expect to recover well, they
usually do,'' study author Dr. Donald C. Cole of the
Institute for Work and Health in Ontario, Canada, told
``(This) suggests that physicians should ask their
patients about their expectations of recovery,'' he
Cole and his colleagues reviewed 16 studies published
between 1966 and 1998 that addressed the relationship
between patient expectations and recovery. The
investigators report their findings in a recent issue
of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Results from 15 of the 16 studies showed that when
patients had positive expectations about their
recovery, they tended to have a better recovery, even
when psychological and social factors were taken into
consideration. The effect was small in four of the
studies, medium in five studies, and large in six
studies. The remaining study was experimental rather
than observational, the report indicates.
The largest effects tended to be found in studies of
medical conditions, such as obesity, while smaller
effects were more common in studies of psychological
conditions such as social phobia.
Reasons for the relationship between patient
expectations and outcome may be that patients'
expectations triggered a physical response or that
their expectations conditioned them psychologically to
ignore certain symptoms, the authors speculate. Or it
may be that the patients' expectations motivated them
to achieve better recovery results, they suggest.
``Further research could lead to the development of
tools, guidelines (or) methods to help physicians
foster more positive recovery expectations in their
patients and perhaps target psychological support and
education to those patients who require it,'' Cole
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal
Do You Yahoo!?
Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger