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Usefulness of Psychiatric Intervention in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery

Owen S. Surman, MD, CM; Thomas P. Hackett, MD; Elizabeth L. Silverberg, MA; Douglas M. Behrendt, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(6):830-835. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760120082012.
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Twenty patients undergoing cardiac surgery were seen one or more times by a psychiatrist who performed two functions. In a supportive fashion he cleared up any misconceptions the patient had about the forthcoming surgery and he taught him a simple autohypnotic technique.

Twenty controls, matched for relevant variables, received routine preoperative care. Contrary to the report of others, a single visit by the psychiatrist did not influence the incidence of postoperative delirium, anxiety, depression, pain, or medication requirements. However, there was a trend for patients receiving a greater number of preoperative visits to have a lower incidence of detected delirium.

Age was the only factor in this study that differed significantly between delirious and nondelirious patients.


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