Feeds

Chronically ill people 'happier if they abandon hope', say docs

Promises to 'reconnect bowels' make people sad

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Health researchers in America have suggested that it is better for people suffering from severe illness to give up any hope that their condition might improve.

“Hope is an important part of happiness,” said Dr Peter A Ubel, one of the authors of the "happily hopeless" study, “but there’s a dark side of hope".

Essentially, according to Ubel and his colleagues, it's often better to just resign yourself to how awful things are rather than raging against your situation and hoping desperately that it will get better.

The doctors based this on surveys of patients who had their colons removed. Some were told that was it, they were on colostomy bags for life; others were informed that doctors would "reconnect their bowels" at some future date. Apparently the first group reported higher levels of happiness over the next six months.

“We think they were happier because they got on with their lives. They realized the cards they were dealt, and recognized that they had no choice but to play with those cards,” says Ubel, who was teamed up with social scientist George Loewenstein on the study.

The better-living-through-bad-news profs say that the same psychology is seen in other situations. It's better, they argue, to have your spouse die than to have them divorce you.

“If your husband or wife dies, you have closure. There aren’t any lingering possibilities," says Loewenstein.

The very worst thing a doctor can do, according to the profs, is to sugar-coat any medical bad news, or to rashly lay any stress on chances of survival or recovery.

“Hopeful messages may not be in the best interests of the patient and may interfere with the patient’s emotional adaptation,” says Ubel. “I don’t think we should take hope away. But I think we have to be careful about building up people’s hope so much that they put off living their lives."

There's more from Michigan Uni here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.