Psykologisk Institut

Helle Spindler

Distress and anxiety following postponed cardiac surgery prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Charlotte Brun Thorup, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • Helle Spindler
  • Dorte Nøhr, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • Hanne Skinbjerg, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • Jan Jesper Andreasen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark

INTRODUCTION: Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused postponements of elective cardiac surgery. We hypothesised that postponements due to the pandemic were associated with higher levels of psychological distress than prepandemic postponements. METHODS: A prospective, observational cohort study was conducted among patients in whom elective cardiac surgery was postponed. Patients who received information regarding a new date of surgery prior to the pandemic were compared with patients postponed during the pandemic without information regarding a new date of surgery. Data were collected from patient records, validated questionnaires and interviews. RESULTS: Out of 55 postponed patients, 21 experienced prepandemic postponement. No significant differences were observed between groups regarding the psychological measures before their rescheduled operation. However, patients in both groups reported high levels of anxiety and depression with > 60% indicative of potentially positive diagnoses. No differences were found in mortality across groups and no patients developed severe complications. Interviews showed that patients in the COVID-19 group felt immediate relief at postponement and engaged in a meaning-making process with respect to their ability to tolerate postponement in order to reassure themselves and their relatives. CONCLUSIONS: No significant differences were found in psychological distress between the patients of the two groups. However, both groups experienced high levels of psychological distress. It remains unknown whether these results may be extrapolated to other surgical fields.none. TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

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