Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to facilitate recovery from surgery by intervention designed to reduce anxiety. There were three major hypotheses tested in this study. The first hypothesis was that relaxation would render the subject more susceptible to helpful information and faciliate recovery. The second hypothesis was that stress relevant information would be more effective in facilitating recovery than information that gave a general description of the surgical procedures. The third hypothesis was that there would be an interaction between information given and coping style. The goal of the study was to facilitate patients' recovery for hernia surgery by giving the information about the surgical experience;The independent variables measured the subjects' state and trait anxiety and their coping styles. The STAI and modified Sentence Completion tests were administered for this purpose. Patients were classified as high or low trait anxious subjects and as Avoiders, Copers or Non-specific defenders based on the results of these instruments. The dependent variables measured the subjects' perception of their pain experience, their recovery from surgery and the change in situational anxiety. The Pain Questionnaire was administered to allow the patient to assess his pain experience. Medical records were reviewed after patient discharge to obtain data on recovery. The presurgical state anxiety score was compared to the postsurgical score to ascertain the effect of the change in state anxiety on recovery;There were three types of analysis of data. First the Des Moines and St. Louis samples were compared to determine the existence of significant differences between the two groups. The second analysis compared the recovery of the four treatment conditions. A one-way analysis of variance was used for this analysis. The third analysis involved the determination of factors effecting recovery. A regression analysis was used to determine the significant factors;There were no significant differences between the four treatment groups. A regression analysis did indicate that persons receiving information irrelevant to the surgical experience were less facilitated by the information than patients who received some stress relevant information.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Bonita Gail Cade



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159 pages