Optimism reduces pain, and other stories

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f858 (Published 13 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f858

A causal link between optimism and lowered sensitivity to pain was shown in a novel experiment that involved manipulating university students into a temporary optimistic state (by writing about and visualising a future best possible self) and subjecting them to a cold pressor test to induce pain (involving the immersion of the non-dominant hand in very cold water). Induced optimism was significantly related to reduced ratings of pain intensity during the test compared with controls, who had written about and visualised a typical day (Pain 2013;154:53-8, doi:10.1016/j.pain.2012.08.006).

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), commonly used to treat localised prostate cancer, affects bone density. Analysis of data from over 75 000 men with localised prostate cancer found that men with a high baseline risk of skeletal complications have a higher probability of receiving ADT than those with a low risk (52.1% v 38.2%, P<0.001). Over 12 years, more than 58% of …

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