Do health beliefs affect pain perception after pectus excavatum repair?

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DOI: 10.1007/s00383-018-4354-x


PURPOSE: The pain experience is highly variable among patients. Psychological mindsets, in which individuals view a particular characteristic as either fixed or changeable, have been demonstrated to influence people's actions and perceptions in a variety of settings including school, sports, and interpersonal. The purpose of this study was to determine if health mindsets influence the pain scores and immediate outcomes of post-operative surgical patients.

METHODS: As part of a multi-institutional, prospective, randomized clinical trial involving patients undergoing a minimally invasive pectus excavatum repair of pectus excavatum, patients were surveyed to determine whether they had a fixed or growth health mindset. Their post-operative pain was followed prospectively and scored on a Visual Analog Scale and outcomes were measured according to time to oral pain medication use.

RESULTS: Fifty patients completed the Health Beliefs survey, 17 had a fixed mindset (8 epidural, 9 PCA) and 33 had a growth mindset (17 epidural, 16 PCA). Patients with a growth mindset had lower post-operative pain scores than patients with a fixed mindset although pain medication use was not different.

CONCLUSION: This is the first usage of health mindsets as a means to characterize the perception of pain in the post-operative period. Mindset appears to make a difference in how patients perceive and report their pain. Interventions to improve a patient's mindset could be effective in the future to improve pain control and patient satisfaction.

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Pediatric surgery international





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Analgesia, Patient-Controlled; Attitude to Health; Female; Funnel Chest; Humans; Male; Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures; Pain Measurement; Pain Perception; Pain, Postoperative; Patient Satisfaction; Postoperative Period; Prospective Studies; Thoracoplasty


Fixed; Growth; Mindset; Pain scores; Pectus excavatum; Visual Analog Scale

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