The treatments physicians prescribe are based on clinical evidence from
well-designed, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials. Many of
us dismiss the "mind-body connection." Mood cannot treat pneumonia or control
diabetes. Imagery and visualization will not cure a cancer. But, are we missing
opportunities to learn how mood can influence the course of a disease and
how patients cope with illness? What can we learn about the neurobiology of
Dr Jerome Groopman's newest book is a significant step toward highlighting
and understanding the importance of hope to the disease and therapeutic process.
Groopman, a hematologist-oncologist, is chair of medicine at Harvard Medical
School, chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
and a staff writer for The New Yorker. In The Anatomy of Hope he provides a number of patient case histories
(pseudonymous with altered characteristics) that convincingly demonstrate
the importance of hope in coping with life-threatening malignancies. With
each, he learns a new lesson about hope.
Bitran J. Hope. JAMA. 2004;291(19):2381–2382. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2381
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