Depression and the surgical patient

Nisha N. Shah, Charles L. Raison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During a time when surgeons are under constant scrutiny to have shorter postoperative recovery times as well as better outcomes, depression is often a costly and common comorbidity. The point prevalence for depression in the medically ill is 10–36% for general medical inpatients. Depression is an omnipresent factor in patient recovery. Depression negatively impacts the ability of patients to care adequately for their wounds and can interfere with optimal behavior choices by promoting activities such as poor nutrition, smoking, and illicit substance use, which can lead to complications in recovery [1]. Furthermore, depression plays a role in how patients perceive their recovery. According to a study looking at three HMO populations by Pearson et al. more than half of people in the top 15% of medical resource utilization were suffering from undiagnosed depression [2]. Via these factors, and perhaps also as a result of depression-related pathophysiological changes, depressed and anxious patients have a 5–6 times higher risk for 30-day and in-hospital mortality after surgery when compared with patients with no psychiatric comorbidities [3].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Management of the Surgical Patient
Subtitle of host publicationA Textbook of Perioperative Medicine, Fifth Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780511920660
ISBN (Print)9781107009165
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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