Pro-health role of optimism among people with mental disorders
Karolina Potempa1,2, Irena Krupka-Matuszczyk1
Aim: Many scientific reports indicate that optimism positively affects our psychophysical well-being. The main purpose of the conducted research was to verify whether optimism is a predictor of health-oriented resources also in patients with paranoid schizophrenia, depressive disorders and depressive schizoaffective disorders. The following health-oriented factors were evaluated in the study: health behaviour, life satisfaction, social functioning and coping with stress. Furthermore, we have verified whether there were any differences related to the level of optimism and health-oriented factors between individuals with mental disorders and a control group. Methods: The following tools were used in the study: Optimism Questionnaire, Health-Related Behaviour Inventory, Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale, Beck Depression Inventory. Results: Effects of optimism on some of the health-oriented factors were observed in patients with mental disorders as well as in healthy individuals. Significant differences in the level of health-oriented resources between the study population and controls were reported. Conclusions: The study suggests that generalisation of the conclusions regarding healthy population to individuals with mental disorders should be done with caution. Further research is needed to investigate the health behaviour determinants in patients with mental disorders.