17 April 2014

Hope & Unrealistic Optimism on NurChat

Hope and unrealistic optimism in long term care will be the main topic for debate using #Nurchat on Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 8pm. Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter based discussion group focussing on current UK healthcare issues. The chat is open to everyone and will be an ideal opportunity for those involved or interested in long term care, such as healthcare staff, patients and relatives to meet and discuss the highs and lows of optimism within the treatment process.

Have you had experience, either personally or professionally, of the potential for unrealistic optimism to impact a patient experience? What impacts and reactions have you seen when difficult information is delivered to a patient? Were there aspects of that communication you would change with hindsight to reduce the impact? Is there a point when unrealistic optimism becomes too unrealistic and is a barrier to providing care? What’s the role of denial and disavowal as opposing styles of coping mechanisms?

Despite its often unrealistic nature, there is a growing case for hope and optimism in the management of chronic conditions. Recent research indicates that positivity may have a beneficial effect on coping abilities and physical function for patients with chronic illness and incurable disease. This recognition has fed into cancer care. Instead of focussing on in-depth diagnosis and prognosis, there is now a greater emphasis on tailoring individual patient communication to help preserve levels of hope.

To take part in a #NurChat discussion, you’ll need to have a twitter account. Using the tweet box on http://nurchat.co.uk/join-nurchat-live/ you will be able to see the conversation as it happens. This box will automatically add the NurChat hashtag for you when you join in. If you need any assistance, tweet @NurChat for help.

About Nurchat: NurChat is an online community for nurses, healthcare professionals, patients and anyone with an interest or opinion on healthcare to come together, share knowledge and learn from each other. NurChat fuels inspiring debate on contemporary issues with the aim of creating a positive and significant impact on care delivery in this country. NurChat is facilitated by Newcross Healthcare Solutions, but belongs to the wider healthcare community.