Surgical prehabilitation of cancer patients undergoing surgical resection. Modalities to mitigate the level of anxiety and depression prior to surgery

There is emerging evidence from studies at the Montreal General Hospital supporting the effect of prehabilitation (also referred to as preoperative conditioning) on postoperative outcomes. Increasing physical fitness and optimizing nutrition in cancer patients before surgery can help patients feel physically stronger, return to their community functions sooner and potentially undergo adjuvant cancer treatment earlier than expected. However, a great level of preoperative anxiety and depression exists in our cohorts, and standard strategies, such as deep breathing exercises, are not enough to mitigate the impact of psychological distress. As the literature suggests, high preoperative anxiety and depression are associated with prolonged functional recovery, depressed immune function, more complications, and poorer quality of life. The present study has been designed to assess patients’ psychological status before beginning a 4-6 week prehabilitation program and to determine the impact of structured psychological intervention on functional, clinical and societal aspects of postoperative outcomes.

Faculty Supervisor:

Leon Tourian


Meagan Barrett-Bernstein


Peri Operative Program




Medical devices


McGill University



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