Depression, Coping Style, and Wound Healing

Posted by Dr. El - October 5, 2010 - Common Nursing Home Problems and How Psychologists Can Solve Them, Resident care, Role of psychologists - 6 Comments

A recent article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News (September 2010) caught my eye: Attitude appears to affect healing process for wounds. The article cites a research study in the August issue of Dermatologia that found patients who were less depressed had wounds that healed faster. It also found slower healing in those who had “confrontational” coping styles and therefore had difficulty with the loss of control around waiting for a wound to heal.

It turns out this isn’t an isolated conclusion. A 2008 study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association found similar results regarding depression and healing. Stress and depression were found to affect healing in a 2001 study in Psychosomatic Medicine. In 2008, researchers at Cairo University found the use of relaxation techniques helped reduce depression and improve wound healing and recovery in post-Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) patients.
In this McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article, I outlined conditions that might warrant a referral of nursing home residents to the psychologist, and now I’m going to add to the list:
  • Residents recovering from wounds or surgery