The impact of emotional well-being on long-term recovery and survival in physical illness: a meta-analysis

S.M.A. Lamers, Linda Bolier, Gerben Johan Westerhof, Filip Smit, Ernst Thomas Bohlmeijer

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This meta-analysis synthesized studies on emotional well-being as predictor of the prognosis of physical illness, while in addition evaluating the impact of putative moderators, namely constructs of well-being, health-related outcome, year of publication, follow-up time and methodological quality of the included studies. The search in reference lists and electronic databases (Medline and PsycInfo) identified 17 eligible studies examining the impact of general well-being, positive affect and life satisfaction on recovery and survival in physically ill patients. Meta-analytically combining these studies revealed a Likelihood Ratio of 1.14, indicating a small but significant effect. Higher levels of emotional well-being are beneficial for recovery and survival in physically ill patients. The findings show that emotional well-being predicts long-term prognosis of physical illness. This suggests that enhancement of emotional well-being may improve the prognosis of physical illness, which should be investigated by future research.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)538-547
JournalJournal of behavioral medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-83835
  • METIS-291278

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