Preoperative Distress Factors Predicting Postoperative Pain in Adolescents Undergoing Surgery: A Preliminary Study

Catherine E. Ferland, Neil Saran, Teresa Valois, Sheila Bote, Jill M. Chorney, Laura S. Stone, Jean A. Ouellet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if preoperative distress factors could be used as predictors of postoperative pain in adolescents scheduled for spinal fusion surgery. Patients reporting the presence of pain before surgery reported greater pain intensity at postoperative day (POD) 1 (p = .033), POD 2 (p = .008) and at follow-up 6 weeks after surgery (p = .0001). Preoperative trait anxiety was associated with pain intensity before surgery (p = .002) but not with postoperative pain intensity (p > .05). Salivary cortisol concentrations did not differentiate between anxious and nonanxious patients based on anxiety trait (p = .21) and was not associated with postoperative pain intensity (p > .05). These findings suggest that preoperative distress factors do not predict postoperative pain intensity in the acute and intermediate period. The presence of preoperative pain was the best predictor of postoperative pain intensity, suggesting that preoperative pain assessment will identify patients at an elevated risk for intense postoperative pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support provided by the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation (to JAO, CEF and LSS), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP126046 to LSS and CEF, MOP102586 to LSS, and MOP192333 to JMC and JAO), and the Shriners Hospitals (CAN84292 to JAO and CEF). CEF received fellowships from the CIHR-NeuroInflammation training program, the Quebec Network for Oral and Bone Health, les Fonds de Recherche du Qu?bec-Sant?, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Perioperative pain
  • adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • anxiety
  • salivary cortisol


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