Married people recover better from heart surgery according to a new study made by the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. It seems that the care and support provided by a spouse can and does improve a patient’s health.
Previous studies have also found evidence to support the fact that patients have a better chance at recovery when they are given the proper support and care from loved ones, as any changes in their health will be promptly noticed by their families.
In this case researchers have concluded that, when it comes to recovering from heart surgery, people that are divorced, single, widowed or separated are 40 percent more likely to suffer from complications or develop problems during their recovery.
1,576 people participated in the new study which focuses specifically on the connection between a person’s marital status and their experiences during convalescence.
Doctors Rachel Werner and Mark Newman, the leading researchers in this case, relied on previous scientific studies they had ran. The ample, original research project that started back in 1998 and interviewed 29.000 people about their post-surgery experiences was used to now focus in on the direct link between people’s support system for recovery, family status and health.
This initial study, following patients over 50 years of age through an extended period of time after having had heart surgery, checked in with subjects and their families every two years since it began in 1998 and conducted follow-up interviews to monitor the subject’s health form a long term perspective.
The 1,576 people selected for the new study were divided into several groups: one part on the patients had undergone heart surgery since their last interview, another group had passed away since and their convalescence and surgery experience was detailed for researchers by their families.
The remaining, larger group fell into the following categories: 65 percent of the people interviewed were married, 12 percent of the participants were either separated from their partners or divorced, 21 percent had been widowed and about 2 percent had never married.
After gathering the necessary information from this new group, researchers concluded that patient’s marital statuses were essential factors in calculating the risks that heart patients were to be facing when undergoing heart surgery.
Marital status was found to influence not only the survival chances of the person undergoing the procedure but also affect their active recovery. This research has shed light on the importance of a patient’s familial support system in their recovery, but it has also helped surgeons and physicians provide more adequate care to post-op patients based on the information the person provides before surgical intervention and their specific needs after it has taken place.
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