Thursday, July 05, 2007

Is Recovery From Hip Surgery a State of Mind?

news you may not knowMy Doctor Says I'm Better, But...

It's an age-old debate. Scientists point to indisputable measurements, reproducible test results, and emotionless logic. The common woman of the day leads with her heart, and hopes her mind will come along for the ride. So, when it comes to medicine, who's right?


Researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLU) studied patients who had undergone hip surgeries. They were interested in evaluating a patient's recovery, from their own perspective, as well as that of their surgeon. Not surprisingly, they found there is often a major disconnect in the assessment of progress.

Surgeons utilize a standard clinical measurement to determine hip function. This physical assessment serves as the foundation of the physician's evaluation, but may not always be in line with a patient's own assessment. Though the surgeon may consider progress to be excellent, the SLU team found patients often disagreed, complaining that they still had aches and pains.

The researchers suggest the difficulty may extend beyond the cold facts of physical recovery and have more to do with the patient's emotional state. Ah, yes - this strikes at the heart of cold logic versus warm heart, doesn't it? The team believes the sudden loss of mobility, and associated sense of dependence, may exacerbate existing depressions, or set off a new episode of depression.

What's the answer? The SLU team recommends surgeons pay more attention to their patient's emotional state, and consider involving a psychologist or social worker in patient care process.

What's the other answer? Ah, the other answer is yes - the age-old debate between mind and heart will continue for as long as there are women with keen minds and strong hearts...

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To read more about living a healthy and emotionally balanced life, see this from WebMD.


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