In 10 seconds? A group of researchers found a link between a patient’s belief that they deserve to get better and the outcome of their psychiatric treatment. Patients who did not believe they deserved to improve were more likely to miss treatments, drop out entirely, or spend more time in treatment programs.

Is that…surprising? While it has long been known that patients’ motivation to receive treatment affects their outcomes, the internal belief of whether they deserve to improve has never been studied. The current study’s authors work in a psychiatric day hospital, where patients’ participation indicates that they are motivated. However, a minority of their patients made little progress throughout their treatment and mentioned to their providers that they felt unworthy of improvement. This led the team to study patients’ beliefs about their worthiness more systematically.

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