09:20pm Sunday 20 August 2017

UCI anesthesiologist to lead study on alleviating surgical anxiety, pain in children

Orange, Calif., — A UC Irvine anesthesiologist will use a $3.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to launch a research effort aimed at lessening the anxiety and pain children feel before and after surgery.

Dr. Zeev Kain, professor and chair of anesthesiology & perioperative care, will establish his Provider-Tailored Intervention for Perioperative Stress program at four California children’s hospitals. P-TIPS is designed to promote specific behaviors in adults — doctors and parents alike — that will create a calmer surgical environment for youngsters.

“Some 4 million children undergo surgery in the U.S. each year, and up to 65 percent of them experience significant anxiety and distress before surgery,” said Kain, a national leader in perioperative biopsychosocial research.

“Not only is this traumatic for these young patients, but it also contributes to increased postoperative pain and delayed hospital discharge. A program like P-TIPS is specifically tailored to improve pediatric surgical outcomes.”

Under P-TIPS, surgical staff and anesthesiologists are trained to integrate positive behaviors into their interactions with pediatric patients and their parents — such as using humor, eye contact and simple medical language.

“It’s important that healthcare providers not overwhelm children with complicated medical jargon or overly reassuring statements,” Kain said. “We’ve found that a friendly and direct conversational approach lowers undesirable stress and anxiety.”

The P-TIPS study will involve UC Irvine Medical Center-CHOC Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UC San Diego-Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, and Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Additionally, Kain is utilizing another NIH grant to create and implement a unique Internet site to help parents ease children’s anxiety (and their own), properly handle postsurgical pain and, ultimately, facilitate healing. Web-based Tailored Intervention Preparation for Surgery will provide detailed information for parents about surgical procedures and postoperative pain management. WebTIPS also will develop a personalized plan for alleviating anxiety and pain, taking into account other medical and psychological factors, such as the parents’ coping and caring skills.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.


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