PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION FOR A POTENTIALLY STRESSFUL MEDICAL PROCEDURE (ABORTION, ANXIETY)

ROBIN CHERYL KAY, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the effectiveness of two interventions in decreasing the distress of abortion patients who differed in coping style. Specifically, the differential efficacy of sensory information plus an attention placebo vs. sensory information plus a cognitive-behavioral intervention for patients who coped with stress by using either sensitizing or repressing mechanisms was explored.^ Subjects were 80 women, ages 18 to 35, who were scheduled to have abortion procedures at an out-patient clinic. Volunteers were classified as sensitizers or repressors, according to their scores on the Revised Byrne Repression-Sensitization Scale. All subjects received extensive sensory information regarding the abortion procedure and a brochure which provided either a cognitive-behavioral intervention or an attention placebo. Dependent measures consisted of subjects' ratings of the degree of anxiety and pain they experienced during the abortion procedure, as well as observers' ratings of subjects' levels of adaptation during the procedure.^ Results indicated that anxiety decreased significantly for all subjects following both experimental interventions. However, contrary to the expectations of the investigator, sensory information provision plus a cognitive-behavioral intervention was not found to be generally more effective than sensory information provision and an attention placebo in reducing the distress of abortion patients. In addition, sensory information provision was not found to benefit sensitizers more than repressors. Further, sensitizers and repressors who received a cognitive-behavioral intervention in addition to sensory information were not found to differ in their reports of anxiety and pain or in observers' ratings of their levels of adaptation during the abortion procedure. However, sensitizers who received sensory information and an attention placebo reported that they experienced significantly more pain than sensitizers who received sensory information and a cognitive-behavioral intervention, thus offering some support for the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for this group of subjects. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

KAY, ROBIN CHERYL, "PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION FOR A POTENTIALLY STRESSFUL MEDICAL PROCEDURE (ABORTION, ANXIETY)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506337.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506337

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