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Br J Clin Psychol. 1982 Nov;21 (Pt 4):271-80.

Psychological preparation for surgery: a comparison of methods.


Sixty hysterectomy patients were randomly assigned to one of three types of psychological preparation prior to surgery, while an additional 10 patients declined psychological help. Twenty patients received information about the surgical procedure and its effects, another 20 were instructed in a cognitive coping technique, and the remainder were given general information about the ward. Interventions were shown to have different effects on a number of pre- and post-surgical measures; notably on knowledge about hysterectomy, analgesic usage, reported days of pain after discharge, and belief in the usefulness of intervention methods. Whereas information about surgery enhanced knowledge and usefulness ratings, cognitive coping appeared to have most effect on indices of recovery. Patients declining preparation responded badly immediately after surgery, but made a satisfactory recovery after discharge. Cognitive coping methods seem to be an effective way of managing specific worries about the operation, and it is suggested that this underlies differences in patterns of recovery following surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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