April 12, 2019 – Integrating Risk


Anchor lead: What is the impact of psychosocial factors on outcomes after surgery? Elizabeth Tracey reports

How do psychosocial factors, such as reaction to stress, impact recovery after cancer surgery? According to a study by Ira Leeds, a surgical resident and postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, when taken along with the presence of other medical conditions, quite a lot. And the study indicates that accounting for psychosocial factors at the time of surgery may be important.

Leeds: Typically with surgery, you’re diagnosed with cancer and relatively quickly if you have a cancer that is surgically resectable you’re going to take as much as that out as fast as possible and then move on to the longer term modality of chemotherapy. People have really played down the importance of these psychosocial risk factors in that surgical paradigm. There’s been a much stronger push to say, get them to surgery as fast as possible then focus on these longer term risk factors in the longer term period following surgery. I think what this research is showing though is that in order to do the surgery effectively you do have to consider these psychosocial risk factors.  :32

Leeds says further research will explore interventions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.