Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Optimists Report A Higher Quality Of Life Than Pessimists

Date:
August 13, 2002
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Your outlook on life not only may help you live longer, but it appears to have an impact on your quality of life. Mayo Clinic researchers say that optimists report a higher level of physical and mental functioning than their pessimist counterparts.

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Your outlook on life not only may help you live longer, but it appears to have an impact on your quality of life. Mayo Clinic researchers say that optimists report a higher level of physical and mental functioning than their pessimist counterparts.

Related Articles


"The wellness of being is not just physical, but attitudinal," said Toshihiko Maruta, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology in Rochester and the principal author of the study, which appears in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "How you perceive what goes on around you and how you interpret it may have an impact on your longevity, and it could affect the quality of your later years."

Patients originally assessed in the 1960s with a personality test completed a follow-up self-assessment of their health status 30 years later. In the health survey, pessimists reported poorer physical and mental functioning. The results come two years after a Mayo Clinic study of the data found that optimists live longer than pessimists.

The researchers say, that to their knowledge, the two studies they've done are the first to report on the long-term health implications of explanatory style, an assessment of patients that classifies them as optimists, pessimists or mixed.

Researchers looked at the health survey results reported by 447 patients in the 1990s. This group had originally completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) between 1962 and 1965. The MMPI is an assessment that helps researchers classify personality traits. An optimism and pessimism scale was developed for the MMPI in 1994. Using the scale to determine how to classify the patients, researchers found that 101 were classified as optimistic, 272 as mixed and 74 as pessimistic.

Researchers said pessimists scored below optimists on quality-of-life assessments, and also scored lower than the national average on five of the eight scales that were measured. Those are physical functioning; role limitations, physical; bodily pain; general health perception; vitality; social functioning; role limitations, emotional; and mental health.

"Our study provides documentation for beliefs commonly held by patients and health care practitioners about the importance of optimistic and pessimistic attitudes," Dr. Maruta said. "However, questions remain about the practical significance of these findings for health care practitioners."

Further study of explanatory style, which is a measured assessment, is warranted to make those determinations, Dr. Maruta said. Also, Dr. Maruta says the results might begin to help health care professionals in how they assess and deal with their patients.

"Explanatory style may have implications for prevention, intervention, health care utilization and compliance with treatment regimens," Dr. Maruta said. "Well formulated studies are essential to warrant the extra time, effort and costs associated with efforts to intervene in a patient's explanatory style or to personalize the care specific to explanatory style."

Along with Dr. Maruta, researchers involved with the study include: Robert C. Colligan, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology; Michael Malinchoc, M.S., and Kenneth P. Offord, M.S., Mayo Clinic Division of Biostatistics in Rochester.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a peer-reviewed and indexed general internal medicine journal, published for more than 75 years by Mayo Foundation. It has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Study Finds Optimists Report A Higher Quality Of Life Than Pessimists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020813071621.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2002, August 13). Mayo Clinic Study Finds Optimists Report A Higher Quality Of Life Than Pessimists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020813071621.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Study Finds Optimists Report A Higher Quality Of Life Than Pessimists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020813071621.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins