Evaluating the Effect of Preoperative Provision of Information on Salivary Cortisol in Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Study



      Surgery is considered to be an anxious experience and most patients experience preoperative anxiety. Preoperative awareness has long been one of the most effective ways to reduce fear and anxiety caused by surgery. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of preoperative provision of information on salivary cortisol in candidates for breast cancer surgery.


      This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 80 patients (divided into control group and intervention group; 40 patients in each group) admitted to the surgery department of the Cancer Institute of Imam Khomeini hospital in Iran. Samples were selected using random allocation method with a block size of four. Data were collected on participants' demographic characteristics and salivary cortisol.


      The educational intervention for patients in the control group was routine training and for patients in the intervention group was based on the training booklet approved by cancer specialists. Findings were analyzed using SPSS software version 21.


      The mean age of participants in the intervention and control groups was 44.00 ± 11.45 and 42.62 ± 12.83 years, respectively . The mean score of anxiety in the intervention group was 18.85± 6.19 before intervention, and decreased to 7.40± 3.68 after intervention . The mean score of anxiety in the control group was 19.75 ± 7.26 and significantly decreased to 14.25 ± 5.73 at the end of the study.


      The results showed that preoperative anxiety significantly decreased in both groups, but was lower overall in the intervention group. In fact, using an educational booklet to raise awareness about patients' health, surgery knowledge and postoperative care as well as how to adapt to postsurgery physical changes and to promote psychological support can reduce patients' anxiety. Hence, providing education to patients may be integrated as a complementary method in patients' routine education.


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