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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2016 Nov - Dec;43:17-22. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

The effects of optimism and gratitude on adherence, functioning and mental health following an acute coronary syndrome.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA. Electronic address: ramillstein@mgh.harvard.edu.
2
Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.
3
Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.
5
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.
6
Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined the effects of optimism and gratitude on self-reported health behavior adherence, physical functioning and emotional well-being after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

METHODS:

Among 156 patients, we examined associations between optimism and gratitude measured 2 weeks post-ACS and 6-month outcomes: adherence to medical recommendations, mental and physical health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical functioning, depressive symptoms and anxiety. Multivariable linear regression models were used, controlling for increasing levels of adjustment.

RESULTS:

Optimism [β=.11, standard error (S.E.)=.05, P=.038] and gratitude (β=.10, S.E.=.05, P=.027) at 2 weeks were associated with subsequent self-reported adherence to medical recommendations (diet, exercise, medication adherence, stress reduction) at 6 months in fully adjusted models. Two-week optimism and gratitude were associated with improvements in mental HRQoL (optimism: β=.44, S.E.=.13, P=.001; gratitude: β=.33, S.E.=.12, P=.005) and reductions in symptoms of depression (optimism: β=-.11, S.E.=.05, P=.039; gratitude: β=-.10, S.E.=.05, P=.028) and anxiety (optimism: β=-.15, S.E.=.05, P=.004; gratitude: β=-.10, S.E.=.05, P=.034) at 6 months.

CONCLUSION:

Optimism and gratitude at 2 weeks post-ACS were associated with higher self-reported adherence and improved emotional well-being 6 months later, independent of negative emotional states. Optimism and gratitude may help recovery from an ACS. Interventions promoting these positive constructs could help improve adherence and well-being.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01709669.

KEYWORDS:

Acute coronary syndrome; Adherence; Gratitude; Mental health; Optimism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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