Associations Between Meaning in Life and Health Indicators: a Systematic Review
1University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw, Poland
Background: This systematic review tested the associations between meaning in life and health indicators. Methods: Using systematic review methodology we identified 49 studies testing associations between meaning and indicators of objectively and subjectively measured health (including perceived general health measures, symptoms frequency and intensity, health and risk behavior and mortality). Original trials included data from a total of 43 078 participants, including 39 939 healthy respondents and 3 139 participants with a diagnosed illness (1963 with cancer). Results: Following positive associations between finding or searching for meaning and health were found: 37/40 for perceived general health indices, 9/10 for risk or health behavior, 2/2 for mortality, 3/3 for symptoms. Discussion: Across populations, higher levels of meaning in life are related to better health measured with subjective and objective indicators.