Quality of life and pre-operative anxiety level in patients scheduled to undergo thoracic surgery
Baltayiannis, Nikolaos E.
Voyagis, Gregorios S.
Papadimitriou, Lila J.
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Purpose: Increased preoperative anxiety levels may lead to adverse outcomes. We aimed at assessing the relationship between quality of life (QoL) and preoperative anxiety level during the 4-week preoperative period in patients scheduled to undergo thoracic surgery and we tried to identify patients who could benefit from preoperative supportive measures. Methods: One hundred patients comprised the study population (52 men and 48 women) out of the initial 136, who were scheduled to undergo thoracic surgery. Mean age was 56±15 years (±SD). After obtaining informed consent, participants were asked to answer a questionnaire, through a personal interview, 12 to 15 h prior to their scheduled thoracic operation. The questionnaire included questions on demographics and incorporated the State Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and SF-36 scales. Results: Female patients (p=0.023), unemployed patients (p=0.01) and patients that were scheduled for a mediastinoscopy (p=0.001) experienced increased anxiety level. Lower scores in several parameters related to the QoL were found to be associated with increased anxiety level. Limitations inpatients 'ability to work or to perform other everyday activities as a result of mental health problems (p=0.006), low vitality (p<0.001), bad general mood (p<0.001), deteriorated general health (p<0.001) and general mental health (p<0.001) were associated with preoperative anxiety. No differences were found in anxiety level among lung cancer and non-lung cancer patients. Conclusion: This study showed an inverse proportional correlation between preoperative QoL and anxiety during the 4-week period prior to thoracic surgery. Appropriate pharmaceutical and psychological support may improve patients' anxiety level.