Screening preoperative anxiety – when does it relate to the quality of life among patients before total joint replacement? Preliminary reports
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Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Communication, Second Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2018-08-16
Final revision date: 2019-04-12
Acceptance date: 2019-04-12
Online publication date: 2019-06-05
Publication date: 2019-06-04
Health Psychology Report 2019;7(2):139–148
Anxiety among patients undergoing joint replacement increases the risk of post-surgery complications and mental health problems, and impairs health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Since clinical procedures require adequate, but possibly simple and cost-saving tools, an augmenting application of a one-item visual analogue scale for anxiety (VAS-A) has been observed. The purpose of the present study is to validate the VAS-A using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and consider both as HRQoL predictors among patients waiting for total joint replacement.

Participants and procedure:
Patients (n = 68, 34% male), hospitalized for total hip or knee replacement, participated before surgery in this cross-sectional study. They completed the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) to assess their HRQoL, the VAS-A and STAI for anxiety, and the Visual Analogue Scale for pain as a control variable.

Although the VAS-A correlated with the STAI score (r = .29, p = .019 for the state anxiety subscale), this conven-ient measure did not relate to the NHP results (NHP total score β = –0.03, p = .799), while the STAI results did, especially the trait subscale (β = 1.29, p < .001, CI 0.82 to 1.75).

The value of the VAS-A regarding HRQoL is limited while trait anxiety seems a disregarded factor significantly referring to HRQoL. Its assessment, in addition to the evaluation of temporary emotional states, might provide benefits in the clinical management of patients within surgery, orthopedic and rehabilitation care. Intervention possibilities for those with altered trait anxiety are discussed.

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