Navigation Links
Hope and Optimism May Cloud Judgment in ICUs
Date:3/7/2012

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Even when told that death is likely, families of intensive care patients tend to be overly optimistic about the possibility of recovery, a new study finds.

Because they often have to make treatment decisions for patients too ill to express their own wishes, it's important for family members to have a clear understanding of their loved one's prognosis, said Dr. Douglas White, an associate professor in the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"Research has shown us that prognostic information influences treatment decisions near the end of life," White said in a university news release. "But there's evidence of disconnect between what the doctor says and how the surrogates interpret the meaning."

The study, which appears in the March 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, included 80 surrogate decision makers at three ICUs in San Francisco who read statements such as "He will definitely survive," "He has a 90 percent chance of surviving," "He has a 5 percent chance of surviving," and "He will definitely not survive."

The participants, who were told that the statements were hypothetical and not related to their own loved one's prognosis, were asked to interpret the statements about the patients' chances of survival.

The participants accurately assessed the survival odds when a patient's prognosis was generally good, but that was not the case with poor prognoses. Forty percent of participants were overly optimistic in their interpretation of a 50 percent survival chance, and nearly two-thirds were too optimistic in their interpretation of a 5 percent survival chance.

When the participants were asked to explain their overly optimistic interpretations, their responses included statements such as, "I hold on to hope strongly," "There is still hope," and "[The doctors] are not giving you a real figure."

"Our research indicates that in the ICU setting, family members want to see the glass as half full, even if it's really nearly empty," White said. "They accurately interpreted statements conveying good prognoses, which means it's not a simple misunderstanding of numbers that explains their misperceptions. Instead, they appear to be biased to optimism as a coping strategy to deal with the highly stressful situation of having a loved one near death."

More information

The Society of Critical Care Medicine has more about making decisions for ICU patients.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, news release, March 5, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Optimism boosts the immune system
2. Optimism May Boost Immune System
3. Optimism Could Help Kids Keep Depression at Bay
4. Unrealistic optimism appears common in early cancer trials
5. Optimism Is Good for Your Heart
6. Demographics cloud optimism on black violent crime decrease
7. Optimism May Lower Stroke Risk
8. UCLA psychologists discover a genes link to optimism, self-esteem
9. Optimism May Help Female Undergrads With Their Grades
10. Virtual Global Highlights Top Ten Misconceptions about Cloud Computing
11. Cloud Computing Platforms Address Unique M2M Application Needs, According To New SensorLogic White Paper
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet is ... Wound Care" campaign in USA Today, which will educate readers on how to take ... the campaign, a large focus is placed on melanoma. Dancing with the Stars professional, ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Clara, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 ... ... announces the integration of the CareFusion NOX-T3 portable sleep monitor with its Somnoware ... provides a consistent, browser-based interface for diagnostic device operations. With this platform, initializing ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly ... Top gadget will continue to be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on ... stress wherever they are, I also wanted to bring a fidget toy to the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... “When the Stars ... Home” is the creation of published author Laura Weigel Douglas, an avid reader who ... in a house that sometimes feels like Green Hills Adventure Camp. She couldn’t be ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... , ... Water damage to the flooring of several classrooms at The Fort ... with a number of critical issues to address before students could return to classes. ... little or no disruption to class schedules. Second, the project had to comply with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Thornhill Research Inc. ( ... an $8,049,024 USD five-year, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract by ... Commercial Corporation (CCC) ( Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ... administer general anesthesia to patients requiring emergency medical ... US Marine Corps have been a longtime partner ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 Radiology has become ... its costs have also spiraled to the number one ... to radiology than ever before as the most complete ... a patient with lower back pain an MRI may ... reason for pain, resulting in entirely different treatment protocols.  ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development ... the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted Oramed ... Administration of Exenatide". The patent covers Oramed,s invention ... GLP-1 is an incretin hormone that stimulates ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: