Magazine article USA TODAY

Post-Surgery Anxiety Linked to Readmissions

Magazine article USA TODAY

Post-Surgery Anxiety Linked to Readmissions

Article excerpt

Some anxiety is perfectly normal for kidney transplant patients, but a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research suggests that medical staff can help patients feel more at ease when they leave the hospital and that could decrease the chances they will be readmitted. High levels of anxiety a week after a kidney transplant patient goes home more than doubles the chances he or she will be readmitted within 30 days of release, researchers found--and anxiety was higher for patients who reported less-than-optimal empathy on the part of nurses, doctors, and other caregivers and who received inconsistent directions related to post-discharge care.

"The more patient-centric the care, the more trust the patient has in the information provided and the lower the anxiety level after discharge," stresses study coauthor Aravind Chandrasekaran. "If you're anxious, you're going to come back."

Readmissions can occur for true medical reasons, such as a patient taking the wrong medications or not adhering to post-transplant safety measures. They also can arise when the worried well return unnecessarily, says cardiothoracic surgeon and study coauthor Susan Bruce. …

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