Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Hope, Optimism, and Clinical Pain: A Meta-Analysis.

Shanahan ML, Fischer IC, Hirsh AT, Stewart JC, Rand KL. Hope, Optimism, and Clinical Pain: A Meta-Analysis. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 2021 Aug 23; 55(9):815-832.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Generalized expectancies have been theorized to play key roles in pain-related outcomes, but the empirical findings have been mixed. PURPOSE: The primary aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the relationships between two of the most researched positive generalized expectancies (i.e., hope and optimism) and pain-related outcomes (i.e., pain severity, physical functioning, and psychological dysfunction) for those experiencing clinical pain. METHODS: A total of 96 studies and 31,780 participants with a broad array of pain diagnoses were included in analyses, using random-effects models. RESULTS: Both hope and optimism had negative correlations with pain severity (hope: r = -.168, p < .001; optimism: r = -.157, p < .001), positive correlations with physical functioning (hope: r = .199, p < .001; optimism: r = .175, p < .001), and negative correlations with psychological dysfunction (hope: r = -.349, p = .001; optimism: r = -.430, p < .001). CONCLUSION: The current findings suggest that hope and optimism are similarly associated with adaptive pain-related outcomes. Future research should examine the efficacy of interventions on hope and optimism in ameliorating the experience of clinical pain.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.