Anaesthesia publishes this interesting discussion of what is a somewhat heterogeneous literature on how psychology and mental health may impact surgical recovery and outcome. It discusses how anxiety and catastrophizing impacts pain, and how depression may predict longer term pain and recovery trajectory. Attitudinal factors, particularly self‐efficacy, a positive outlook and patient‐perceived control have been associated with earlier functional recovery.
The authors discuss how education, stress control, behavioural training, and multimodal prehabilitation including exercise can improve functional recovery, although traditional surgery outcome gains may not be as apparent from available literature.
There is a need for further study and for now it is suggested that “it may be that a stratified approach is required, targeting patients with abnormal mood and low self‐efficacy for prehabilitation”.