New study examines how health affects happiness
(Medical Xpress)—A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that the degree to which a disease disrupts daily functioning is associated with reduced happiness.
Lead author Erik Angner, associate professor of philosophy, economics and public policy at George Mason University, worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Chicago and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The full study is available online.
Previous research found that many serious medical conditions, including cancer, have a surprisingly small impact on happiness, while certain other conditions, such as urinary incontinence, seem to have a lasting negative effect on happiness.
In their study, Angner and his co-authors explored the difference. They developed a measure called the "freedom-from-debility score" based on four health survey questions explicitly designed to represent limitations in physical activities and in usual role activities because of health problems.
This study is the first to use a direct measure of the degree to which disease disrupts daily functioning.
The authors found that when controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors in addition to objective and subjective health status, a one-point increase in the freedom-from-debility score (on a scale from 0 to 100) was associated with a three-percent reduction in the odds of reported unhappiness.
For example, a patient with prostate cancer, whose daily functioning is not affected by his condition, might score higher on a happiness scale than a patient with urinary incontinence, whose condition imposes dramatic limitations in daily functioning. Indeed, in an earlier study, the authors found that participants with a history of cancer reported being significantly happier than those with urinary incontinence.
"These new results support the notion that health status is one of the most important predictors of happiness," Angner said. "A better understanding of the complex relationship between health status and subjective well-being could have important implications for the care and treatment of patients and could lead to interventions that could dramatically improve patient quality of life."
Journal reference: Journal of Happiness Studies
Provided by George Mason University
- Spirituality is key to kids' happiness Jan 08, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Black women have urinary incontinence less than half as often as white women Apr 22, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Targeted health support needed for those with lower IQs Sep 27, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds we choose money over happiness Sep 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- U-M guidelines help family physicians evaluate, manage urinary incontinence for women Sep 13, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Psychology & Psychiatry 9 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
Psychology & Psychiatry 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Children of depressed parents pick up on their parents' sadness—whether mom or dad realizes their mood or not.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
19 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0