Feeds

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

Promises to 'reconnect bowels' make people sad

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.