Positive thoughts and expectations, claim two University of Alberta researchers and a colleague from Sweden, can help people recover from serious injuries like whiplash.
In three different studies, the researchers found the correlation between positive expectations and the recovery.
Linda Carroll, in the School of Public Health, looked at a cohort of over 6,000 adults with traffic-related whiplash injuries.
She found that those that had positive outlooks towards their recovery actually recovered over three times faster than those who did not.
Dejan Ozegovic, also in the School of Public Health, looked at predications around returning to work, using the same cohort.
Positive return-to-work assumptions meant people rated themselves as "recovered" 42 per cent faster than those who had more negative expectations.
Lena Holm, a Swedish researcher who is working at the U of A this summer, found that those study participants in Sweden who had low expectations of complete recovery were four times more likely to still feel symptoms of the injury six months later.
The researchers were surprised by the findings, which showed that the severity of the injury did not have an impact on the recovery times.