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Books, Journals, New Media
May 19, 2004


JAMA. 2004;291(19):2381-2382. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2381

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 healing?

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.

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