Perioperative anxiety and depression in patients undergoing abdominal surgery for benign or malignant disease

Hannah Williams, Mohammad Raheel Jajja, Wendy Baer, Glen C. Balch, Shishir K. Maithel, Ankit D. Patel, Dipan Patel, Snehal G. Patel, Jamil L. Stetler, Joshua H. Winer, Theresa W. Gillespie, David A. Kooby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Etiologies, levels, and associated factors of psychological distress in cancer patients facing surgery are poorly defined. We conducted a prospective comparative study of perioperative anxiety and depression in patients undergoing abdominal surgery for either malignant or benign disease. Methods: With Institutional Review Board approval, patients consenting for surgery at our institution were enrolled. Surveys were completed at a preoperative visit and within 2 weeks of a postoperative appointment. Participants listed their top three sources of anxiety, and completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the General Anxiety Disorder-7. Results: A total of 79 patients completed the preoperative assessment and 44 (58.7%) finished the postoperative survey. Forty-one were male (51.9%), 12 (15.2%) had a psychiatric comorbidity (PSYHx), and 47 (59.5%) had cancer. Perioperative anxiety and depression did not differ by malignancy status. Patients were most concerned about surgery (22.5%) preoperatively and finances (27.9%) postoperatively. PSYHx, frailty, insurance status, and opioid use were all associated with perioperative psychological distress. Conclusions: Cancer patients did not have significantly higher levels of perioperative psychological distress compared with benign controls. Socioeconomic worries are prevalent throughout the perioperative period, and efforts to alleviate distress should focus on providing adequate counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • finances
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • opioids
  • prospective analysis
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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