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The power of positive thinking - another reminder!

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  • claudine intexas
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2001
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      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
      Reuters Health.

      ``(This) suggests that physicians should ask their
      patients about their expectations of recovery,'' he
      added.

      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
      concluded.

      SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal
      2001;165:174-179



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