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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Kerper L. F. 1, Spies C. D. 1, Buspavanich P. 1, Balzer F. 1, Salz A.-L. 1, Tafelski S. 1, Lau A. 1, Weiß-Gerlach E. 1, Neumann T. 1, Glaesmer H. 2, Wernecke K.-D. 3, Brähler E. 2, Krampe H. 1
1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
2 Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
3 Institute of Medical Biometry, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité – University Medicine Berlin, and SOSTANA GmbH, Berlin, Germany
BACKGROUND: The association of depression and hospital length of stay (LOS) has rarely been examined in surgical patients outside of cardiovascular surgery. This study investigates whether clinically significant preoperative depression shows an independent association with LOS in patients from various surgical fields after adjusting for age, gender and important somatic factors.
METHODS: A total of 2624 surgical patients were included in this prospective observational study. Data were collected before the preoperative anesthesiological examination within a computer-assisted psychosocial self-assessment including screening for depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CES-D). Data on peri- and postoperative somatic parameters were obtained from the electronic patient management system of the hospital six months after the preoperative assessment.
RESULTS: LOS of patients with clinically significant depression (N.=296; median: 5 days, interquartile range: 3-8 days) was longer than LOS of patients without depression (N.=2328; median: 4 days, interquartile range: 2-6 days) (P<0.001). A multivariate logistic regression model with the binary dependent variable ‘above versus below or equal to the median LOS’ revealed that the significant association between depression and LOS persisted (OR: 1.822 [95% CI 1.360–2.441], P<0.001) when simultaneously including the covariates age, gender, ASA classification, Charlson Comorbidity Index, surgical field and POSSUM operative severity rating.
CONCLUSION: Data suggest that the association of depression and LOS is independent of the impact of age, gender, surgical field, preoperative physical health, severity of medical comorbidity and extent of surgical procedure. Integration of depression therapy into routine care of surgical patients might be an option to improve outcomes.