Strengthening interpersonal relationships helps medical patients live longer – Study

Support interventions such as group meetings and family sessions that promoted healthy behaviors resulted in a 29% increased probability of survival over time

New research from BYU published in PLOS Medicine found that providing medical patients with social support leads to an increased chance of survival and elongation of life. Such findings come at a critical time as doctors and healthcare professionals seek new ways to improve care and decrease mortality.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

“The premise of the research is that everyone is strongly influenced by their social context,” said BYU counseling psychology professor Timothy B. Smith, lead author of the study. “Relationships influence our behavior and our physical health. We now know that it is possible to prolong life by fostering coping and reducing distress.”

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, BYU psychology professor and co-author of the study, said the findings support other research published by the National Academy of Science and that there is now ample evidence that social needs should be addressed within medical settings.

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