PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION FOR SURGERY, PATIENT COPING DISPOSITIONS, AND PERIOPERATIVE STATUS
 
Krohne, H.W., University of Mainz, Germany
 
Surgery is a major stressor for any patient. This stress can adversely affect the course of anesthesia, surgery, and recovery. Psychological preparation, especially through information or relaxation procedures, could prove to be an effective means of reducing this stress. However, research in this area has been characterized by inconsistent results. In addition, interactions of patients' coping strategies and the specific content of a preparation on the success of an intervention have been rarely analyzed. - Ninety-seven patients undergoing nasal cavity and septum surgery were randomly assigned to the regular preparation procedure (control group: n=35) or to one of two patient-specific preparation programs: "Information" (n=32) and "Relaxation/Attentional diversion"(n=30). The study demonstrated that both programs, compared to the regular procedure, were efficient in reducing perioperative stress. While Relaxation/Attentional diversion was most effective in the preoperative stage, Information yielded more long-term positive effects. As predicted, results also exhibited significant interactions of the programs' specific contents and patients' characteristics such as actual and dispositional coping, surgery-related anxiety, and social support provided by friends, family, and medical staff.