Anxiety treatments can calm patients’ fears of surgery

Prof. Lital Keinan-Boker of the University of Haifa said the combined technique has “real potential to alleviate fears of patients and improve the results of the operation.

By JUDY SIEGEL
July 5, 2016 03:03
1 minute read.
Haifa

Haifa University. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Integrating standard treatment for anxiety about having surgery with complementary medicine techniques has been found successful in calming patients about to undergo an operation, according to new research at the University of Haifa and the city’s Bnai Zion Medical Center.

Prof. Lital Keinan-Boker of the University of Haifa said the combined technique has “real potential to alleviate fears of patients and improve the results of the operation. Offering this to patients should be seriously considered.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Fears before surgery can be expressed by elevated blood pressure, a speedy heartbeat, changes in sugar metabolism and other side effects.

It is also one of the significant predictors of death after heart and vascular surgery, and can needlessly lengthen the recovery period.

Shmuel Attias, who carried out the research for his master of public health degree thesis under the supervision of Keinan-Boker and Dr. Elad Schiff of Bnai Zion, wanted to know whether complementary medicine techniques could help conventional methods reduce patients’ anxiety.

Participating were 360 patients over the age of 16 who were about to have elective surgery. The first group received anti-anxiety mediation some 120 to 160 minutes before the operation.

A second group underwent such treatment as well as acupuncture, reflexology, personal guided imagery or a combination of reflexology and guided imagery.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The third group had standard drug treatment and guided imagery using a recording, and not administered on a one-to-one basis.

Levels of anxiety, from one to 10, were recorded, with four considered moderate.

According to the researcher, the anxiety of those who received integrated treatment was reduced by 60 percent, while those who received only medication had an average rise from 4.92 before the operation, to 5.44.

Even after getting the medications, 70% of the patients still reported moderate to high anxiety.

But those with integrated treatment of medication, guided imagery and reflexology had an anxiety average of 4.22; 3.63 with standard treatment, reflexology and guided imagery; and 3.28 when given standard treatment, reflexology and acupuncture.

Guided imagery that was not individually administered had less of an effect.

Although there are few science- based studies of complementary medicine, this piece of research showed that it can be beneficial, the researchers concluded.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

MDA ambulance
September 17, 2018
On high alert: Emergency services brace for Yom Kippur

By EYTAN HALON