Presurgery Distress and Specific Response Expectancies Predict Postsurgery Outcomes in Surgery Patients Confronting Breast Cancer

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Abstract

Prior to scheduled surgery, patients frequently experience particularly high levels of distress and expect a variety of postsurgery symptoms. Surgery patients who confront breast cancer are no exception. It has been suggested that such presurgery distress and response expectancies are predictive of postsurgery outcomes. To test the contribution of presurgery distress and expectancies to common postsurgery symptom outcomes (pain, nausea, fatigue, and discomfort), 63 female patients undergoing breast cancer surgery were recruited to a prospective study. Results indicated that presurgery distress uniquely contributed to patients' postsurgery nausea, fatigue, and discomfort; specific expectancies uniquely contributed to pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and fatigue (ps < .05). Consistent with expectancy theory, associations between response expectancies and postsurgery outcomes were not due to presurgery distress.

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