Have you had experience, either personally or professionally, of the potential for unrealistic optimism to impact a patient experience? What impacts and reactions have you seen when difficult information is delivered to a patient? Were there aspects of that communication you would change with hindsight to reduce the impact? Is there a point when unrealistic optimism becomes too unrealistic and is a barrier to providing care? What’s the role of denial and disavowal as opposing styles of coping mechanisms?
Despite its often unrealistic nature, there is a growing case for hope and optimism in the management of chronic conditions. Recent research indicates that positivity may have a beneficial effect on coping abilities and physical function for patients with chronic illness and incurable disease. This recognition has fed into cancer care. Instead of focussing on in-depth diagnosis and prognosis, there is now a greater emphasis on tailoring individual patient communication to help preserve levels of hope.
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NurChat is an online community for nurses, healthcare professionals, patients and anyone with an interest or opinion on healthcare to come together, share knowledge and learn from each other. NurChat fuels inspiring debate on contemporary issues with the aim of creating a positive and significant impact on care delivery in this country. NurChat is facilitated by Newcross Healthcare Solutions, but belongs to the wider healthcare community.