Presurgical Psychological Screening (PPS) is all about better understanding patients to improve their surgical outcomes. Surgeries can be technically successful – that is, the underlying medical condition is corrected – yet patients can be left without improvement in their symptoms. In the extreme, patients’ conditions may worsen; physical problems may be exacerbated or arise anew, cognitive difficulties or emotional distress may increase, and/or addiction to narcotics might occur because of post-operative pain.
Assessing Patient Compliance
PPS is a risk-assessment procedure through which Dr. Kauder offers opinions / predictions about the extent to which psychological factors may influence surgery results. High levels of emotional distress, substance abuse, personality disorders, and degree of willingness to comply with medical regimes, are among the psychological factors that research shows to strongly influence a patient’s surgical outcome.
Through PPS, Dr. Kauder makes recommendations about whether – for a particular patient – it appears most appropriate to operate or implant a device, delay those procedures until after other interventions are implemented, or avoid those procedures altogether. Through PPS evaluations, Dr. Kauder can provide treatment suggestions to both the referring medical clinician and the patient-candidate.
Reducing Medical Practice Risk
In addition to helping physicians to obtain good results and to avoid negative surgical consequences, PPS can reduce the likelihood of medical-malpractice litigation. Physicians who refer for PPS demonstrate that they have been cautious in decision making, not simply proceeding with operations unaware of psychological concerns that may affect their patients’ surgical responses.