Vestibular schwannoma surgery: personality facets, illness perceptions and coping strategies influencing long term postural recovery


  • L. Ribeyre
  • C. Parietti-Winkler
  • B. Lassalle
  • C. Hoffmann
  • E. Spitz


Background: The vestibular schwannoma is a begin tumour and its surgery increase balance disorders, which are followed by a gradual recovery. This study aimed to identify psychological predictors influencing short, mid and long terms postoperative postural recovery. Methods: Nineteen patients were included in this study. Before surgery, eight days, one month, three months and one year after, they performed posturography test and completed questionnaires (NEO-PI-R, IPQ-R, Brief-COPE). Results Anxiety, Altruism-Tender-Mindedness and Openness to feeling are personality facets influencing illness perceptions and coping strategies. Daily consequences, doubts about surgery as curative for VS and negative emotions are predictive illness perceptions of postural recovery mediated by coping strategies. Denial, difficulties accepting the situation and avoidance of the therapeutic process could impair short, mid and long terms postural recovery. Psychological predictors explain 77.3% of the variability of short term postural recovery (one month), 36.6% of the variability of mid-term postural recovery (three months) and 79.3% of the variability of long term postural recovery (one year). Discussion High anxiety, attention to negative emotions and difficulties taking care of yourself are personality facets that could impair postural recovery. Attentive listening to patients may help to identify doubts about surgery as curative for VS, to estimate daily consequences and to consider negative emotions related to illness. Health professionals may also pay attention to patients who have difficulties accepting their situation and who avoid the therapeutic process. The identification of these factors of vulnerability may allow screening patients for psychological help before and after surgery.





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