August 1962

Role of Suggestion in Surgical Convalescence

Author Affiliations

Magic Valley Medical Center.

Arch Surg. 1962;85(2):304-315. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310020134025

Introduction  Strong evidence exists that suggestion plays an important role in the recovery of surgical patients after uncomplicated procedures. Dohan et al.1-3 have observed that surgeons are not in agreement relative to the optimal duration of convalescence after common, uncomplicated surgery. On the basis of a survey of the duration of convalescence of a group of patients undergoing similar procedures by various surgeons, they concluded that, "The surgeon's recommendation is the major determinate of the total duration of uncomplicated convalescence in most patients."Beecher4 feels that the enthusiasm or skepticism of a surgeon may influence the therapeutic result of an operation. He states: "Placebo effects are potent where there is strong motivation on the part of the patient toward recovery."Weiss and English5 state that the surgical patient is in a very suggestible frame of mind.In a more direct experimental approach Wolff and his associates6,7

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