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Title: Psychosocial and cognitive predictors of pre-surgical anxiety and emotional and behavioural changes following surgery in children
Author: Kenedy, Juliet Anne
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Surgery is a distressing time for children, adolescents and their families. Post-surgery, a significant number of children develop negative emotional and behavioural difficulties, including separation anxiety, sleep difficulties and aggressive behaviour. These changes, in some, become pervasive and affect the child long-term. There is growing literature identifying psychosocial risk factors associated with negative emotional and behavioural changes after surgery including the age of the child, parental anxiety, pain and pre-surgical anxiety. Pre-surgical anxiety and its predictive factors have also been thoroughly investigated, usually measured within the perioperative period. From a cognitive perspective one would hypothesise that worry would be a pre-cursor to pre-surgical anxiety. To date, there has been no empirical investigation into pre-surgical worries in a clinical sample of children and adolescents. This study therefore investigated pre-surgery related worries in children anticipating orthopaedic and spinal surgery, using the children's surgical worries questionnaire. Information on demographic, social, medica1 and psychological factors was also gathered to investigate potential predictive factors of pre-surgical worry. Sixty-three children and their caregivers completed the questionnaires. Children and adolescents were found to worry most about their illness, its repercussions and medical procedures over hospitalisation worries. Child trait anxiety was the most consistent psychological predictive factor of child surgical worry, along with the child's sociability and pre-morbid emotional symptoms. Medical and demographic factors significantly associated with worry included pre-surgica1 pain and also gender. This study provides a quantitative exploration into worry thoughts children have before surgery. Future research with larger numbers would be useful to investigate the results further
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available