General anesthesia and the patient's attempts at control

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Maryann Pranulis
James M. Dabbs, Jr.
Jean Johnson
Cite this article:  Pranulis, M., Dabbs, Jr., J., & Johnson, J. (1975). General anesthesia and the patient's attempts at control. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 3(1), 49-54.


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Twenty surgical patients were instructed to be active or passive while awaiting surgery. Pulse measures were taken as patients approached the operating table, received anesthesia, and lost consciousness. All patients increased in pulse rate before anesthesia. Immediately after initial anesthesia the groups diverged, active patients decreasing and passive patients increasing in pulse rate. A decrease in pulse rate is clinically desirable. A patient’s active participation may show that the staff is responsive to his needs, making him more willing to submit to anesthesia.

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