Happy Happiness Day

H

This the first of our Barts-MS non-personalised, more factual, blog posts. We, Barts-MS, hope you will find this format more agreeable.

Happiness is associated with better health outcomes, which may apply to people living with MS and their families. More research needs to be done in this area before any definitive statements can be made in relation to applying happiness therapy as part of the overall management of pwMS. However, evidence from other areas suggests it may help pwMS.

Should happiness therapy be available on the NHS? Do you think MS HCPs should be routinely assessing happiness levels of their patients? Should MS HCPs be actively prescribing social interventions to increase their patient’s happiness levels?

As today is national happiness day Barts-MS would like to wish you ‘Happy Happiness Day’.

The study below suggests that the experience of MS is associated with well-being in relevant life domains, such as family and close relationships. Although pwMS and caregivers identified a lower number of goals and meaning-related opportunities compared to controls, they showed a positive adjustment to disease through the development of personal and family resources. They recommend the active involvement of PwMS and their families as experts in initiatives aimed at promoting the well-being of both pwMS and their communities.

Promoting happiness is part of our #ThinkSocial campaign.

Delle Fave et al. Beyond Disease: Happiness, Goals, and Meanings among Persons with Multiple Sclerosis and Their Caregivers. Front Psychol. 2017 Dec 20;8:2216.

The experience of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers is usually investigated in terms of emotional distress and health-related quality of life, while well-being indicators remain largely underexplored. In addition, findings are often interpreted from the clinical perspective, neglecting socio-cultural aspects that may crucially contribute to individuals’ functioning. At the methodological level, most studies rely on scaled instruments, not allowing participants to freely express their needs and resources. Based on the bio-psycho-social perspective endorsed by the International Classification of Functioning, well-being indicators were investigated among 62 persons with MS (PwMS), their 62 caregivers and two control groups, matched by age and gender. Participants completed the Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and the Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation instrument (EHHI). EHHI provides information on participants’ happiness, goals and meanings through scaled and open-ended questions, contextualized within major life domains. No relevant differences emerged among PwMS and caregivers, compared with the respective control groups, as concerns life domains associated with happiness, goals and meaning. Participants across groups prominently mentioned family, highlighting its intrinsic value and its relevance as a sharing context; health did not represent a major theme for PwMS; community, society and religion/spirituality issues were substantially neglected by all participants. PwMS and caregivers reported lower levels of positive affect than their control groups, while no substantial differences emerged for negative affect, happiness and meaningfulness levels in life and across most domains. Results suggest that the experience of MS is associated with well-being in relevant life domains, such as family and close relationships. Although PwMS and caregivers identified a lower number of goals and meaning-related opportunities compared to control groups, they showed a positive adjustment to disease through the development of personal and family resources. These assets are often undervalued by health professionals and social institutions, while they could be fruitfully exploited through the active involvement of PwMS and their families as expert and exemplary informants in initiatives aimed at promoting the well-being of individuals and communities.

About the author

BartsMSBlog

28 comments

    • Dear Foxy (or the fox of Leicester)

      We at Barts-MS wish you a very happy Happiness Day and hope you find peace with yourself. We strongly recommend you try reading ‘The Art of Happiness’, which is about the Dalai Lama’s philosophy on happiness and finding inner peace.

      Barts-MS

    • I really love this blog. This site is very interesting for MS-patients. Many compliments to all the Experts and thank you for the precious time involved.

  • So should we reply like “MS patients” now?

    If you’re trying to make the blog like a medical brochure, well its boring :/
    How many visitors does the MS Brain Health site have? Less I would guess.

    • Not a brochure. We are being criticised that the blog has become a platform for self-promotion. We are responding to this criticism by making it more neutral and less about the writers and their egos.

      • As far as I’m concerned this blog is the best place I’ve found online or elsewhere for MS information. It makes me happy to read real information from qualified people who seem to actually care about those of us who suffer from the disease. Thank you Team Barts!

        • I perfectly agree with you. This site is very interesting for MS-patients. Many compliments to all the Experts and thank you for your time. I ReallyLove this blog

  • All slighty blah blah and fluffy. I suspect the things that make me happy are not necessarily going to rock everyone’s boat. I personally balk at the idea of HCPs probing my happiness or whatever you call it. Far too intrusive. I enjoy privacy in my private life. But I do maintain that love is an excellent neuroprotective.

  • Oh – Happy Happiness Day to all at Barts! 😊😊😊

    I disagree with you sometimes, but find this blog interesting, valuable and thought-provoking. And sometimes even very funny.

  • I want to hear the personal views of people doing important work, what do the critiques base their complaints on?.

    ‘Each Warrior wants to leave the mark of his will, his signature, on important acts he touches. This is not the voice of ego but of the human spirit, rising up and declaring that it has something to contribute to the solution of the hardest problems, no matter how vexing!’

  • “Should happiness therapy be available on the NHS? Do you think MS HCPs should be routinely assessing happiness levels of their patients? Should MS HCPs be actively prescribing social interventions to increase their patient’s happiness levels? ”

    Really???? You can’t even get a timely GP appointment here, do you think the NHS has money to burn on this drivel?

    If your hip replacement op were to be replaced with a happiness course and a social prescription to visit, oh, I don’t know, say, a garden centre, would you be happy with that?

    Well, I suppose you gave me a good laugh, so happy happiness day to you all.

    • ANONYMOUS – Everything you post gives us all a good laugh. Why don’t you keep your misery to yourself. Ever think of, oh, I don’t know, being productive or contributing anything positive?

  • Happy World Happiness Day!

    ‘Should happiness therapy be available on the NHS? Do you think MS HCPs should be routinely assessing happiness levels of their patients? Should MS HCPs be actively prescribing social interventions to increase their patient’s happiness levels?’

    My concern is that here in the UK unfortunately, there’s not the appropriate culture for clinicians to address emotional states such as happiness. It’s not to say they are all uncaring, but that the impersonal professional distance model predominates – struck by Aaron Boster vid in which he says he has high fived, cried with, and cuddled patients. Also the issue of time constraints: keep everything said to a minimum so consultation can conclude as quickly as possible is not conducive to focussing on psychological health and well being. This has proved true of my interaction with ms nurses too – clearly overwhelmed by workload!

    Happiness is a fleeting or temporary experience, so self contentment might be more applicable, as it isn’t an excited kind of happy, but more like a peaceful mind and feeling gratitude. Mindfulness on gratitude or something like The Five Minute Journal are quick and easy ways to help with this.

    Another quote ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’ Roald Dahl

  • Re: ‘timely GP appointments’ – I have a friend in Devon who tells me that the first thing you see at her GP’s surgery is a large sign saying’YOU HAVE SEVEN MINUTES’. Fortunately, she doesn’t have MS.

  • Dont listen to the haters, please keep it personal.
    Polished PA messages from some media advisor are definately not credible in these times.

  • There is the charity ‘Action for Happiness’, they run local cafes, courses and Meet ups. The charity got together with the BBC to run the ‘Happiness Challenge’ in 2011, free to do and at home if you wish.

    ‘ It wont take much time, there are just three parts to the challenge:

    1.10 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation

    2.Writing down good things that happen to you and a letter expressing your gratitude

    3.Doing one or more additional acts of kindness each day’

    Here’s the BBC link to the free challenge workbook pdf.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/24_01_11_happiness_challenge_final.pdf

    The workbook is worth a look.

  • I just don’t get all the hate. This site is fantastic and so informative for people with MS . I personally I’m so appreciative for the many brilliant people that are devoting their lives doing research , and providing care to help me. Yep, you may not agree or like every post… get over it.

    • I agree entirely with Anonymous on 21st March 8:53 and various others on this post. I liked the site as it was, and – I also don’t get the hate and anger vented in some of the replies.

      The site is excellent, espeically for the in-depth evaluations and discussions. I really appreciate that it has personal views of MS researchers and practitioners. Its a blog not a published, peer-reviewed paper in a noteworthy medical journal and as such should have opinions and viewopints to bring out healthy debate.

      Absolutely – you might not agree with every post, but get over it. Its a blog.

By BartsMSBlog

Translate

Categories

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives