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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-78

Psychiatric symptoms in surgical patients: an assessment of the course of anxiety

Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D I Ukpong
Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Fifty five (55) patients consecutively booked for major elective surgery were assessed pre-operatively for minor psychiatric symptoms and baseline anxiety levels using the GHQ - 30 and the state version of the state - Trait Anxiety inventory (STAI). Measurements of post-operative anxiety levels were also done for the seven consecutive post-operative days using the STAl. The prevalence of minor psychiatric morbidity was 38%. Patients who were GHQ - 30 cases had higher pre-operative and post-operative anxiety levels than those who were not GHQ- 30 cases. Mean baseline pre-operative anxiety levels were not achieved even on the seventh post-operative day. Pre-operative and post-operative psychological interventions may have useful clinical implications for the anesthesiologist surgeon and psychiatrist as they may need to pay special attention to those identified as being at a greater risk for pre and post-operative anxiety.

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