Optimism of health care workers during a disaster: A review of the literature

Noga Boldor, Yosefa Bar-Dayan, Tova Rosenbloom, Joshua Shemer, Yaron Bar-Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Optimism has several orientations. One such outlook is a general tendency to regard the world as a positive place, accepting difficulties as mere challenges instead of impassable barriers. Among health care workers, optimism improves their level of functioning, their patients' satisfaction, and their therapeutic results. Optimistic staff members report feeling less pressure, use fewer avoidance strategies, focus on practical problem solutions, seek social support, and have more trust in people and organizations. The aim of this article is to provide a review of the literature concerning the role of optimism, both in daily life and in crisis situations. An attempt was made to find the linkage between optimism among health care workers during disasters and their active response, with special emphasis on the relationship between optimism and knowledge, feelings or behavior. Based on the literature, optimism was found to be helpful both in daily medical work and in cases of medical emergencies. Optimism was also revealed one of the key components of resilience and self-efficacy. Therefore, it is recommended to consider strengthening the optimism through initiative programs. Obtaining optimism can be included in toolkit preparedness for health care workers in order to confront the complications in the aftermath of disaster. These programs, together with appropriate information, social support, professional trust, and leaders modeling behavior, will raise the well-being and enhance coping skills of the health care workers during and aftermath of disaster scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7270
JournalEmerging Health Threats Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Disaster
  • Health care workers
  • Optimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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