Preoperative assessment

The assessment of all patients being considered for surgery should include a brief evaluation of their current emotional state, personal circumstances, present or past history of psychiatric illness, and personality and coping style, as it may affect their adjustment to surgery. Psychiatric consultation may be indicated for a number of specific reasons:

1. clarification of emotional contributors to the patient's physical complaints;

2. uncertainty about the patient's cognitive functioning and capacity to provide informed consent;

3. the need for assistance in the management of current psychiatric symptoms or illness and associated psychotropic medication;

4. a particular need to predict the patient's response to the surgery and ability to comply with the treatment requirements and to cope with the effects of the surgery.

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