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[Psychosocial stress and utilization of medical services after coronary bypass operation].

  • von Wachter, M1
  • Jünger, S
  • Renz, D
  • Wollthan, S
  • Sim, H
  • Hendrischke, A
  • Hoff, B
  • Schöndube, F
  • Kröger, F
  • Petzold, E R
  • 1 Klinik für Psychosomatik und Psychotherapeutische Medizin, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH Aachen. [email protected]
Published Article
Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany))
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2000
PMID: 11037671


This study examines the relationship between psychosocial stress and social support before coronary surgery and the amount of health care utilization in a sample of 136 patients during postoperative hospitalization. The aim of the study is to test the hypothesis that there is a correlation between a high psychosocial stress profile and the utilization of medical care (so called high utilizers). The sample consists of 80.7% men and 19.3% women aged between 31 and 78 years (mean 64; sd 9.1). In this first data analysis psychosocial impact is assessed by anxiety, depression and social support (HADS-D, F-SOZU). Detailed somatic factors concerning severity of the illness, inpatient course and the utilization of health care (medication, technical examinations, consultations) are assessed by means of a documentation system. With regard to anxiety, depression and social support the sample is located within the normal range. In contrast to our expectations the results show that high scores of anxiety and depression as well as a low level of emotional support do not correlate significantly with an increased use of medication, the number of consultations and technical examinations. Furthermore no correlation has been found between the length of hospitalization and preoperative comorbidity as compared to the mentioned psychosocial stress variables. On the other hand the data analysis showed that about 30% of the patients during the postoperative period utilize about half of the total amount of the different medical treatments. In the postoperative period these high utilizers cannot be distinguished from the other patients, neither by sociodemographic variables nor by means of an increased psychosocial stress or severity of illness.

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