Demystifying Medicine Video

Optimism has been shown to confer benefits to our mental health. In addition, emerging research is also supporting its beneficial effects on our physical health. This video discusses how optimism can improve physical health, how research studies define optimism, what are the physical effects of optimism and what mechanisms are behind the relationship. The video finishes with commentary on how an individual can become more optimistic and some of the caveats of the research, including the lack of evidence for a temporal relationship.

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  • Carver CS, Scheier MF. Dispositional optimism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2014 [accessed 2018 Mar 15];18(6):293–9. Cell Press.
  • Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Della Vista, O., Arpone, F., & Reda, M. A. (2010). Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health : CP & EMH, 6, 25–29.
  • De Moor JS, De Moor CA, Basen-Engquist K, Kudelka A, Bevers MW, Cohen L. Optimism, distress, health-related quality of life, and change in cancer antigen 125 among patients with ovarian cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Psychosomatic medicine. 2006 Jul 1;68(4):555-62.
  • Meevissen, Yvo MC, Madelon L. Peters, and Hugo JEM Alberts. Become more optimistic by imagining a best possible self: Effects of a two-week intervention. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42.3 (2011): 371-378.
  • Shifren K, Anzaldi K. Optimism, well-being, depressive symptoms, and perceived physical health: a study among Stroke survivors. Psychology, Health & Medicine. 2018 Jan 2;23(1):46-57.

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