Thinking, Faster Recovery
always been an assumption, but now a study backs the idea that
a positive attitude can actually help you live a healthy life.
Researchers are urging employers and physicians to acknowledge
this mind-body connection.
really can make you healthy, it seems.
attitude can do wonders for patients' recovery, according to researchers
who reviewed 16 studies that looked at patients' attitudes toward
health. The studies spanned 30 years and looked at patients' attitudes
after surgery. The review appears in the August issue of Canadian
Medical Association Journal.
"In each case
the better a patient's expectations about how they would do after
surgery or some health procedure, the better they did," said author
Donald Cole, of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.
says that the power of positive thinking is real, said ABCNEWS'
Medical Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman on Good Morning
connection that we have been toying with for the past couple of
decades really does have hard science behind it," Snyderman said.
Back Pain, Heart Surgery,
Across a wide
range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery,
patients who felt they would do well in recovery did, according
to Cole. Patients who were scared or pessimistic about their recovery
did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well.
[after surgery] was directly associated with better expectations,
positive expectations," Cole said.
the findings suggest several things that employers as well as
physicians and family members can do to help a person's recovery.
"If an employee
is going off for surgery it could be helpful to ask that employee,
'What do you think is going to happen to you?'" said Cole. "If
a person has fears or is feeling pessimistic then it is time to
think, 'We better deal with those fears.'"
those fears not only helps a person recover but also means a healthier
work environment and the ability of that person who is going to
surgery to come back to work quicker, said Cole.
Hopes and Fears
should talk to their patients and find out what their hopes and
fears are before a procedure," Cole said. "If this were part of
the process, recovery expectations could be talked about and then,
according to the results of this study, at least, recovery could
But can you
decide or make a person have a positive attitude? Can a pessimist
become an optimist?
blame people for their diseases," Snyderman says. "But how you
go through your life with the grit and determination to make it
through, that you do have control over and that makes a difference."
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