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Psychological factors as predictors of early postoperative pain after open nephrectomy

Authors Mimic A, Bantel C, Jovicic J, Mimic B, Kisic-Tepavcevic D, Durutovic O, Ladjevic N

Received 21 September 2017

Accepted for publication 30 January 2018

Published 9 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 955—966


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon

Ana Mimic,1 Carsten Bantel,2,3 Jelena Jovicic,1 Branko Mimic,4 Darija Kisic-Tepavcevic,5 Otas Durutovic,6,7 Nebojsa Ladjevic1,7

1Department of Anaesthesia, Urology Clinic, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; 2Department of Anaesthetics, Klinikum Oldenburg AöR, Oldenburg, Germany; 3Section of Anaesthetics, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK; 4East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, University Hospital Leicester, Leicester, UK; 5Institute of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; 6Department of Urology, Urology Clinic, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; 7Department of Surgery and Anaesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Purpose: There is an increasing interest in the identification of predictors for individual responses to analgesics and surgical pain. In this study, we aimed to determine psychological factors that might contribute to this response. We hence investigated patients undergoing a standardized surgical intervention (open nephrectomy).
Patients and methods: Between May 2014 and April 2015, we conducted a prospective observational cohort study. The following psychological tests were administered preoperatively: Mini-Mental State Examination, Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale (APAIS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and Pain Catastrophizing Scale. The primary outcome, postoperative pain intensity (11-point numerical rating scale, [NRS]), was assessed in the “immediate early” (first 8 hours), “early” (12 and 24 hours), and “late early” periods (48 and 72 hours).
Results: A total of 196 patients were assessed, and 150 were finally included in the study. NRS scores improved from 4.9 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.7–5.1) in the “immediate early” to 3.1 (95% CI: 2.9–3.3) in the “early” and 2.3 (95% CI: 2.1–2.5) in the “late early” postoperative period. Most (87%) patients received intravenous opioids, while 13% received analgesics epidurally. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated better pain management with epidural analgesia in the first two postoperative periods (F=15.01, p<0.00). Postoperative pain correlated strongly with analgesic strategy and preoperative psychological assessment. Multiple linear regression analysis showed “expected pain” was the only predictor in the “immediate early” phase, and “anxiety” was most important in the “early” postoperative period. In the “late early” phase, catastrophizing was the predominant predictor, alongside “preoperative analgesic usage” and “APAIS anxiety”.
Conclusion: After open nephrectomy, epidural analgesia conveys a clear advantage for pain management only within the first 24 hours. Moreover, as the psychological phenotype of patients changes distinctively in the first 72 postoperative hours, psychological variables increasingly determine pain intensity, even surpassing employed analgesic strategy as its main predictor.

psychological variables, postoperative analgesia, postoperative pain, open nephrectomy, numeric rating scale

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