A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that a positive outlook may have more of an affect on recovery than most people might think. Previous studies have shown that an optimistic outlook can have a positive effect on function and the ability to return to work, but this recent study shows that it might also affect longevity.
Nearly 3000 patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease were given a questionnaire to determine their perceived outlook on the future following their diagnosis. The patients were monitored for a fifteen year period following the diagnosis and it was determined that those with the most positive outlook reduced their risk of dying by as much as 17%.
Researchers say that the positive results of optimism could be attributed to a few different things. Firstly, patients who feel as though their recovery will go well may be more likely to closely adhere to health care provider instruction than those who become depressed or dejected by the diagnosis. Researchers say it’s also possible that negativity and depression could lead to increased stress which can have negative effects on the body.
This study shows the importance of how a health care provider approaches a diagnosis and course of treatment with patients. A strong doctor patient relationship that is built on trust and that fosters a positive attitude could ultimately help relieve patient stress and pave the way for a smoother recovery.