Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diagnosis Uncertainty Increases Stress

According to a new study, not knowing can be more stressful than knowing, when it comes to awaiting a physician’s diagnosis.

In fact, the feeling of anxious uncertainty can be more stressful than knowing you have a serious illness.

“Not knowing your diagnosis is a very serious stressor,” said the study’s lead author, Elvira V. Lang, M.D., associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.

“It can be as serious as knowing that you have malignant disease or need to undergo a possibly risky treatment.”

Lang and her colleague, Nicole Flory, Ph.D., studied the stress levels of 214 women scheduled to undergo different diagnostic and treatment procedures.

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