NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Children anxious before surgery experience a more painful, slower and more complicated postoperative recovery, U.S. researchers find.
In a five-year study, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine recruited 241 children aged five to 12 who were scheduled to undergo elective tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
The personality characteristics of the children and their parents were assessed before the surgery and all of the children were admitted to a research unit at Yale following the surgery. Postoperative pain and analgesic consumption were recorded every hour. After 24 hours in the hospital, the children were discharged and followed up at home for the next 14 days.
Lead author Dr. Zeev Kain found that anxious children experienced more problems emerging from anesthesia and significantly more pain both during the hospital stay and over the first three days at home.
During home recovery, anxious children also consumed significantly more codeine and acetaminophen and had a higher incidence of postoperative anxiety and sleep problems, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics.