Vol. 5, Issue 1 (2019)
The evidence for relevance of psychological preparation for patients who are awaiting surgery: A narrative review
Author(s): Okubuiro Eze Onyegbule, Ebirim Longinus Ndubuisi
Abstract: Background: Surgery is a challenging experience for most patients. Causes of anxiety for patients while awaiting surgery include: their physical condition, pain related to the procedure and chance of survival or recovery. A patient’s perioperative state can be adversely affected by negative affective states such as fear, anger, anxiety and depression. Psychological preparation improves recovery as shown by reduced analgesic use, complications and hospitalization time, enhanced quality of life and immune response. The aim of this review was to critically analyze evidence from the literature so as to determine the relevance of psychological preparation for patients who are awaiting surgery. Materials and Methods: A narrative review of recently published randomized clinical trials, meta-analyses and systematic reviews on relevance of psychological preparation for patients awaiting surgery has been performed. Results: Studies reviewed showed that preoperative psychological preparation using patient education, preoperative relaxation techniques and pharmacotherapy resulted in reduced post-operative pain, less pre- and postoperative anxiety, better wound healing and quality of life and patient satisfaction. Conclusion: Evidence from literature examined in this review showed that psychological preparation of patients awaiting surgery is relevant. However, the ideal mode of pre-operative psychological preparation of the patient has not been proven.
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