BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES ASSOCIATED TO PEDIATRIC OUTPATIENT SURGERY AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH MATERNAL ANXIETY
 
Gonzalez, R., Universitat de Valencia and Benavides, G., Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Spain
 
The anxiety associated to the processes of hospitalisation and/or surgery affects the patient's recovery on both a physiological and psychological level. Distress in children manifests itself in behavioural changes such as separation anxiety, aggression, sleep disturbance, eating difficulties, apathy and a distancing from members of the family. These types of behaviour have been observed after surgical intervention both with and without hospitalisation, and, as has also been observed, can be related to their parents emotional state. The aim of this study is to determine the behavioural changes associated to pediatric outpatient surgery and its relationship with maternal anxiety. The sample (n=57) is made up of children between 2 and 12 years old, who have undergone otorhinolaryngology outpatient surgery, and their mothers (n=51). The assessment was carried out using the Post-Hospital Behaviour Questionnaire (PBQ, Vernon, Schulman & Foley, 1966), and parental anxiety was evaluated using the State Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, Gorsuch & Lushene, 1988). The results show that the most significant behavioural changes were observed one and two weeks after surgery, persisting for up to three months (sleep disturbance, eating difficulties and aggression towards authority). The changes observed the day after surgery are related to those which persist for up to three months. It has been observed that the more significant the behavioural changes experienced by the children, the higher the maternal anxiety levels.