Emotional health important to patient outcomes

Perspective article in Orthopedics Today features commentary by Ayers

By Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

June 21, 2011
David C. Ayers, MD 

The growing awareness of the importance of the emotional health of patients—not just the value of the surgical interventions that improve quality of life and physical activity—is the topic of an intriguing commentary in the June 2011 issue of Orthopedics Today

“Multiple authors in the orthopedic literature over the past five years have shown that a patient’s emotional health influences his or her functional recovery after surgery,” David C. Ayers, MD, the Arthur M. Pappas, MD, Chair in Orthopedics and chair and professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation, told the publication. “Patients with lower emotional health have a greater risk of less functional improvement after surgery.” 

Earlier this year, Dr. Ayers moderated a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons that examined the role emotions play in determining how much function patients recover after orthopedic surgery. “Anxiety, poor coping skills, depression and a lack of social support can all affect surgical outcomes,” Ayers told the Boston Globe. He estimated that one-third of all surgical patients have what he calls a “low emotional state” before surgery, and previous research has shown that these patients are 3.5 times more likely to have less functional improvement after surgery compared to those who have a higher emotional state. To read the whole article, visit:http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=84493.