The psychological struggle of undergoing medical procedures.

Medical procedures can often have a profound impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. While physical side effects are usually the primary focus of discussion, the psychological side effects of medical procedures should not be overlooked.

Anxiety and stress are common feelings experienced before, during, and after a medical procedure. This can be especially true if the procedure is invasive or has a high degree of risk. Patients may worry about the outcome of the procedure, the pain it may cause, or the impact it will have on their daily life. This anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and difficulty breathing.

Depression can also be a side effect of medical procedures. This is especially true for procedures that have long recovery times, such as surgeries, or those that cause significant changes to a person’s appearance, such as plastic surgery. Patients may feel sad, hopeless, or have a loss of interest in their usual activities. Patients may struggle with accepting the changes to their bodies and may feel self-conscious or embarrassed.

It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to medical procedures and that these side effects can vary in intensity and duration but it’s pretty safe to assess that medical procedures can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being and it is important to be aware of the potential psychological side effects.

Therefore, addressing patient anxiety before ongoing medical procedures is an important part of the medical professional’s role. By using a combination of communication, good communication is key to reducing anxiety in patients. Medical professionals should take the time to clearly explain the procedure, what it entails, and what to expect before, during, and after. They should also provide answers to any questions the patient may have, as well as address any concerns or worries the patient may have; empathy, patients are more likely to feel at ease if they feel understood and cared for by their medical professional. This, along with good listening skills, can help to establish trust and make the patient feel more comfortable; information, providing clear and concise information about the procedure, including the risks and benefits, can help patients feel more informed and in control. Patients should also be provided with information about what to expect during and after the procedure, such as pain management and recovery time, relaxation techniques, encouraging patients to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, or guided imagery, can help to reduce anxiety and promote calmness before the procedure; distraction techniques, reassurance, reassuring patients that the procedure is safe and that the medical team is experienced and well-equipped to handle any potential complications can help to reduce anxiety; and alternative treatments, medical professionals can help to reduce anxiety and promote a positive experience for patients.

In recent years, technology has made great strides in this topic. Digital tools have been developed to provide patients with accurate information, distraction, and relaxation techniques, all from the comfort of their own homes. Here are some of the most commonly used digital tools for reducing patient anxiety before ongoing medical procedures. Among them we can find:

  1. Patient education apps: These apps provide patients with detailed information about their upcoming procedure, including what to expect, how to prepare, and what to do after. They may also provide animations, videos, and illustrations to help patients better understand the procedure.
  2. Virtual reality tools: VR tools allow patients to experience a simulated version of the procedure in a safe and controlled environment. This can help to reduce anxiety by allowing patients to familiarize themselves with the procedure and understand what to expect.
  3. Relaxation and mindfulness apps: These apps provide guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, and other techniques to help patients relax and reduce anxiety. They can be used before, during, and after the procedure to promote a sense of calm.
  4. Distraction games: Simple games and puzzles can be a helpful distraction for patients who are feeling anxious before a procedure. These games can help take their mind off the procedure and promote a sense of calm.
  5. Telemedicine: Telemedicine allows patients to connect with their medical team from the comfort of their own homes. This can be especially helpful for patients who are feeling anxious about their procedure, as they can receive the support and reassurance they need from their medical team in a familiar and comfortable environment.

The anxiety and stress provoked by an upcoming medical procedure shouldn’t be overlooked because it impacts directly not only the patient’s well-being but also the efficiency of the medical procedure itself and the workload for the professional physicians. If a procedure has to be repeated because the patient was extremely shocked the first time, that means there will be extra costs and extra work for the physicians, creating a problem for all the parts involved.

In my opinion, the elderly population is still a hard rock for all the developments in this regard. They are a big part of our society, we keep increasing numbers of the population from 70 years old onwards and they are not as used to digital tools as younger people are. We can’t rely only on digitalisation to overcome all the struggles that come from this situation so we need to find either an analogue and effective solution or find a way to approach digital resources to this target group in an easy, soft and very friendly way specifically designed for them.


  • Rahman, Asmaa/Mahdy, Naglaa/Kamaly, Aiman: Predictive Factors Affecting Postoperative Quality of Recovery for Patients Undergoing Surgery. In IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science (IOSR-JNHS) 6, no 3 (2017), p. 50 – 60, 10.9790/1959-0603085060
  • De Rosis, Sabina/Barsanti, Sara: Patient satisfaction, e-health and the evolution of the patient–general practitioner relationship: Evidence from an Italian survey. In Health Policy 120, no 11(2016), p. 1279 – 1292,
  • Elliot, Tania et al.: Beyond Convenience: Patients’ Perceptions of Physician Interactional Skills and Compassion via Telemedicine. InMayoClinic Proceedings: Patient’s perception, quality & outcomes 4, no3(2020), p. 305 – 314,

Evaluation of Master Thesis

Technology as bridge between health professionals and patients.

Author: Julia Neunteufel
University: Paris Lodron Universität Slazburg


Level of design

The design is a bit basic and poor. It looks like a very technological and scientific thesis but the author didn’t take the opportunity to play with design options. Once said that the overall structure of the content is very clear and clean, which makes the thesis perfectly readable and manageable.

Degree of innovation

The thesis seems to dig very deep into innovative procedures related to a human-centered approach to treating the topic of eHealth and mHealth. She mentions also design thinking processes that aren’t usually connected to the eHealth topics when approached by the scientific community. I think she really tries to link the coldest side of medical and technological topics and human psychology. Therefore I think this work might not be innovative when choosing the processes to go through but it is innovative in the way she connects human behaviour and emotions to a very well-known scientific topic.


The author uses many resources which help her by providing valuable information but she is the only one involved in the development of the master thesis. – Of course, supervised by her tutor. I think she makes a very good design process on her own, using different tools to reach her final goal.

Outline and structure

As I already mentioned in the design section, the master’s thesis is an extensive work structured in different parts in a clean and clear way. It is very easy to find specific parts or chapters thanks to its good organization in the index and she structures it in a very organic way according to the design process, helping the reader from the beginning to create a complete idea of what a research paper like this one entails.

Degree of communication

The author offers clear and fluent communication throughout the entire work. In some parts where the use of more technical words is required, she manages to make the content equally understandable and accessible to the reader, without avoiding the use of appropriate terminology.

In other sections, she uses a much more concise and shorter style, in a more schematic format, but which also helps to understand other types of material and always in an organic way. I think he knows how to adapt his writing style very well to the context he is developing at the time, and he manages to make this subject, which at times may not be very attractive, seem accessible and interesting to many types of audiences.

Scope of the work

The work focuses on how technology can serve as a link between patients and medical professionals. Under this title, she focuses on topics related to human behavior, technological tools commonly used in medical practices (focusing especially on cardiology), eHealth, and mHealth, as cutting-edge examples of technology designed already taking into account the human-centered approach.

Orthography and accuracy

She writes the work in English. As far as I’ve read, I haven’t found any major spelling mistakes. It is obvious that English it’s not her mother tongue because the vocabulary she uses tends to be simpler than other papers or works from authors whose mother tongue is English. It’s still very well written and there is also usage of specific terminology, giving the text a scientific accuracy about the topics she is dealing with.


She uses many references both from books and scientific papers on the various topics she deals with, as well as from web pages where statistics from previous medical and psychological studies over the years can be found, medical and psychology journals, and articles related to human-centered design and the development of the user experience in the medical field.