Anxiety at surgery can affect recovery

Published: 6 March 2020

By working preventively with the anxiety that patients can feel before and after surgery, the recovery can be better, a study shows. – It can lead to a reduction in the suffering of the individual patient, says Josefin Bergstrand and Viktor Andersson, who attended the specialist nurse training program with anesthesia care at Luleå University of Technology.

– It can also produce health-economic benefits as the need for care decreases, Viktor Andersson says.
He and Josefin Bergstrand conducted the study among 37 patients who underwent orthopedic surgery when they wrote their thesis, during the last year on the program
Now Josefin Bergstrand and Viktor Andersson's work has been approved as a scientific article and has been published in the journal Journal of PeriAnestesia Nursing.

Risk of depression

The study shows that patients who experience anxiety prior to surgery are also worried for the next few hours after surgery. The quality of the recovery after the surgey is negatively affected by it, with the risk of continued worry and depression.
Cecilia Clair, a former student at the program, has done a study on what strategies anesthesia nurses use to reduce the patient's concerns about the surgey.
– The interviews with the anesthesia nurses showed that they thought it is important to see the patient as she or he is and not after diagnosis, or something else. They also felt that it was important to build trust through calm behavior, body contact and seeing the patient, Cecilia Clair says .
Also her master's thesis resulted in a scientific article in the journal Journal of PeriAnestesia Nursing.

Today, Viktor and Josefin work as anesthesia nurses in Östersund, while Cecilia is an anesthesia nurse in Ystad.

Ulrica Strömbäck

Ulrica Strömbäck, Senior Lecturer

Phone: +46 (0)920 492543
Organisation: Nursing, Division of Nursing and Medical Technology, Department of Health Sciences