Background: Chronic pain is associated with increased anxiety, depression, and maladaptive behaviors, especially in adolescents. We hypothesized that adolescents with chronic hip pain selected for hip preservation surgery (HPS) would demonstrate increased anxiety and depression compared with same-age peers. We designed a study to assess the psychological state of adolescents before HPS.
Methods: We prospectively evaluated 58 patients (23 males, 35 females), average age 16.5 years (range, 11 to 19 y) before HPS. Their diagnoses included: femoroacetabular impingement (n=25), acetabular dysplasia (16), Perthes disease (11), and slipped capital femoral epiphysis (6). Psychological questionnaires included patient-completed and parent-completed Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), Beck Youth Inventory, Second Edition (BYI-II), and Resiliency Scales. Self-reported functional questionnaires included the modified Harris hip score (mHHS, max 100) and the UCLA activity score. Psychological scores were compared between diagnoses, procedures performed, and self-reported functional scores with a Student t test and ANOVA.
Results: All patients reported pain, 52 (90%) reported pain >6 months with 28 (54%) >1 year. A total of 44 patients (76%) reported moderate or severe pain. All reported decreased function: average UCLA 7.25 (range, 2 to 10), average HHS 65.5 (range, 27.5 to 97.9). At presentation, 10 patients (17.2%) were receiving psychological intervention and 30% had a family history of mental illness. On the basis of the BYI-II scales, 10% and 31% of patients reported at-risk or clinically significant symptoms of anxiety and depression, respectively. Similarly, using the BASC-2 measure, 28% and 14% reported at-risk or clinically significant anxiety and depression, respectively. Resiliency scales demonstrated that 21% to 36% of patients report maladaptive behavior. There were no significant correlations between any psychological score and diagnosis, procedure, or preoperative functional score.
Conclusions: Preoperative evaluation identified patients who reported at-risk or clinically significant symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, with up to one third of patients reporting maladaptive behavior that may significantly influence their postoperative outcomes. Preoperative psychological evaluation, with appropriate intervention and follow-up, if needed, should be considered before surgery selection as mental health conditions may be undiagnosed and will likely influence functional outcomes.