Influence of depression, catastrophizing, anxiety, and resilience on postoperative pain at the first day after otolaryngological surgery: A prospective single center cohort observational study

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The aim was to assess the association between objectified preoperative psychological factors and postoperative pain at the first day after otolaryngological surgery in accordance with other predictors of postoperative pain. Eighty-two (82) patients (59% male, median age 56 years) were included between January and May 2015. The psychological assessment the day before surgery included the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), pain catastrophizing scale (PCS), State-Trait Operation Anxiety (STOA) inventory, and the resilience scale (RS-13). On first postoperative day, patients were rated their pain using the questionnaires of the German-wide project Quality Improvement in Postoperative Pain Treatment (QUIPS) including a numeric rating scale (NRS, 0–10) for determination of patient's maximal pain. QUIPS allowed standardized assessment of patients’ characteristics, pain parameters, and outcome. The influence of preoperative and postoperative parameters on patients’ maximal postoperative pain was estimated by univariate and multivariate statistical analysis. The mean maximal pain was 3.2 ± 2.9. In univariate analysis, higher PHQ-9 score more than 4 (P = 0.010), higher STOA trait anxiety (P = 0.044), and higher STOA total score (P = 0.043) were associated to more postoperative pain. In multivariate analysis higher PHQ-9 score remained an independent predictor for severe pain (beta = 0.302; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.054–0.473; P = 0.014). When all parameters were included into multivariate analysis, 2 of all somatic, psychological, and treatment factors were associated with severe maximal pain: more depression (PHQ-9; beta = 0.256; 95% CI: 0.042–0.404; P = 0.017), and use of opioids in the recovery room (beta = 0.371; 95% CI: 0.108–0.481; P = 0.002). Otolaryngological surgery covers the spectrum from low to severe postoperative pain and is therefore a good model for pain management studies. A set of somatic and psychological parameters seems to allow the identification of patients with higher risk for more postoperative pain. This should help to individualize and improve the perioperative pain management.

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