Effects of Personality and Context on Recovery From Coronary Artery Bypass
To study the personality and environmental factors that may determine the short-term and long-term sequelae of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS).
|Study Start Date:||July 1991|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||June 1995|
Coronary artery bypass surgery, or CABS, is one of the most common surgical procedures for treating patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). A significant number of patients have accelerated atherosclerosis in the postsurgical period and require second and third operations. Moreover, relative to standard medical care, CABS does little to prolong life. The major benefit of the procedure is improving life quality. Thus, to enhance this major benefit of CABS, it is important to understand the factors, psychosocial as well as biological, that might enhance quality of life after CABS. The few available studies on the psychosocial aspects of recovery from CABS suggest that person variables evident prior to surgery are related to postsurgery quality of life. Of special interest here are gender, optimism, Type A, with its component behavior of hostility, and repressive style. The significance of these attributes derives from their theoretical and empirical relationships to the patient's illness representations and correspondent coping responses, and/or their relationship to risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). In addition to person variables, a number of environmental variables might also be expected to play a role in recovery. Variables such as socioeconomic status (SES), major life events, and quantity and quality of social support systems have all been shown to impact on health and illness. Moreover, from a slightly different perspective, the patient's illness itself can serve as an environmental variable impinging on the life of the person providing the primary support. Thus, it is also important to understand how the patient's illness impacts on the provider of the primary support.
A total of 305 patients between the ages of 25 and 70 scheduled for elective surgery at a major local hospital were evaluated two weeks prior to surgery on the day prior to surgery, and one week, six months, and two and a half years postsurgery. Primary support persons were evaluated three times--at intake, six months postsurgery, and two and a half years postsurgery. Medical information was obtained that permitted examination of the influences of psychosocial variables on recovery. Major personality variables under investigation were optimism, Type A, hostility, gender, repressive style, and to a lesser extent, anxiety, and neuroticism. Major environmental variables included quality and quantity of social support and availability of a primary support person. Main outcome variables for patients included satisfaction with different life domains, depression, return to work, normalization of life style, and new and recurrent morbidity. Main outcome variables for the support person included perceptions of burden, depression, and life satisfaction