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Image J Nurs Sch. 1993 Winter;25(4):311-5.

Positive mental attitude and health: what the public believes.

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Wingra Family Practice Clinic, Madison, Wisconsin 53713.


Content analysis was used with the responses of 167 people to open-ended questions regarding their understanding of the term "positive mental attitude" (PMA) and their beliefs about benefits and problems associated with PMA. Participants also responded to a scale which assessed their beliefs about the influence of PMA on illness onset and recovery. Analyses revealed wide diversity in understandings of the term, although a majority indicated that PMA means optimism or hope. The benefits of PMA included happiness, health and improved relationships. The problems included over-confidence and disappointment, but such problems were often said to be associated with over-enthusiastic use of PMA. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents agreed that PMA can prevent illness and 94 percent agreed that PMA can aid in recovery from illness. Fewer agreed that PMA can prevent cancer or aid recovery from cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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