PREOPERATIVE PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTIONS
Cognitive strategies useful for reducing anxiety were addressed previously. In addition to these strategies, music therapy is an easy-to-administer, inexpensive, noninvasive inter-vention that can reduce anxiety in the perioperative patient. The patient should be allowed to choose his or her own music and be provided with quiet uninterrupted listening time (White, 2000).
The general preoperative teaching addressed earlier in this sec-tion will also help decrease anxiety in many patients. Knowing ahead of time about the possible need for a ventilator, drainage tubes, or other types of equipment will help decrease anxiety in the postoperative period.
During the preoperative assessment the nurse should assist the pa-tient to identify coping strategies that he or she has previously used to decrease fear. The patient benefits from knowing when family and friends will be able to visit after surgery and that a spiritual advisor will be available if desired. Research suggests that hypno-sis may be a useful strategy for reducing fear and overcoming the anxiety associated with surgery (Hernandez & Tatarunis, 2000).
Psychosocial interventions include identifying and showing re-spect for cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs. In some cultures, for example, individuals are stoic in regard to pain, whereas others are more expressive. These responses should be recognized as nor-mal for those patients and families and respected by perioperative personnel. When patients decline blood transfusions for religious reasons (Jehovah’s Witnesses), this information needs to be clearly identified in the preoperative period, documented, and commu-nicated to the appropriate personnel.
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