Patient Outcomes are Impaired by Inadequate Presurgical Assessment for Depression, Anxiety Disorders

A report published in the April edition of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, by a Johns Hopkins research team finds that only 10 percent of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons follow professional guidelines recommending routine psychological screenings of patients prior to major surgery for severe back and leg pain.

The report, based on a survey of spine surgeons, is believed to be the first to assess how many actually use a two-part, presurgical psychological screening test, known as PPS. Previous reports have tied bouts of depression to longer recuperations, delayed returns to work, more postsurgical complications and failures to comply with medication schedules after patients undergo major spine surgery. Read a news story about the findings here.

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