New research finds that people with anxiety and depression have a harder time healing after surgery, Forbes reports.
The study, published in the British Journal of Surgery, observed roughly 177,000 patients undergoing at least one of the following surgeries: hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia, and varicose vein operations. All patients had documented depression and anxiety symptoms.
Researchers observed these patients over a two-year period. The factors they considered – other than depression and anxiety – included demographics, overall health conditions, details and complexity of the surgery, and when the operation occurred.
After observing the patients and considering all factors, the researchers noticed a trend. They deduced that patients who experienced moderate anxiety or depression were more likely to heal at a slower rate. These patients often experienced wound complications or were readmitted to the hospital for longer periods of time. Patients with severe anxiety or depression had even worse complications and longer recovery times.
Lead author Philip Britteon stated: “The study emphasizes the importance of the psychological state before surgery and the fact that psychological disorders are often overlooked. Preoperative assessment should address psychological as well as physical health, given the significant impact of anxiety/depression on wound-related complications and readmissions.”