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Drug use by the polysurgical patient
Am J Psychiatry 1978;135:682-685.
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Abstract

The authors compared the drug use of 23 patients with 5 or more major surgeries (mean number of surgeries = 9.8) with that of a matched control group (mean number of surgeries = 1). Total drug use of the polysurgical patients was 3.7 times greater than that of the controls and involved narcotics, analgesics, barbiturates, and minor tranquilizers. The authors describe the characteristics of polysurgical patients, one of which is chronic pain, and propose a treatment plan that involves psychological intervention for the patient and his or her family.

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