Reduced Hopefulness

Studies have shown that patients who are simply reassured about the benign nature of their condition have been had significantly faster and greater improvements in function than those who did not receive the simple reassurance.

One prospective study, paid particular focus on the fluctuating emotions of hope and despair of individuals with chronic back pain. Based on the patients? narrative accounts, it is clear that pain is more than just a physical problem, but patients also go through psychosocial challenges such as uncertainty and worry about the future.

This paper suggests “health care practitioners should consider these fluctuating emotions of hope and despair in order to facilitate more patient-centred strategies for treatment.”

If you wish to get an idea of how hopeful a patient is, just ask them this question…

What is your level of hopefulness that your condition will improve?

Not hopeful at all 0 ————————– 10 Very hopeful


If a patient if yours scores less than 5, the single most important intervention you can provide is “Consistent Reassurance”. It includes goal setting and a slow but gradual exercise progression.
E.g. 2 minutes of treadmill walking?increased by one minute every other day. Than means that in 6-weeks, they will be walking for 20 minutes. Then tell them, look how much you?ve improved!!!

Posted on: January 26, 2010

Categories: Fascinating Pain Studies

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