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Revista Brasileira de Terapia Comportamental e Cognitiva

versão impressa ISSN 1517-5545


STARLING, Roosevelt R.. Direct observation and measurements of verbal behavior in illness investigations: a pilot study. Rev. bras. ter. comport. cogn. [online]. 1999, vol.1, n.2, pp. 107-124. ISSN 1517-5545.

Considering verbal behavior as the main form of behavior of a bed ridden patient this study aims to explore the potential usefulness of a new methodological approach for the treatment of these variables in illness behavior studies. A total of 763 verbal contents of post-operative patients (PPC) was recorded through a non-invasive, direct observation of their verbal behavior and then organized in a catalog of behavior (four categories and 24 subcategories). Submitted to quantitative description in five aggregates, the results indicate no difference between male and female patients concerning the several psychological (and physiological) variables studied, as expressed by their verbal contents. Patients - both male and female - with prior surgical experiences and/or suffering from other diseases besides the one being surgically treated suggest a better performance in social and personal functioning and less sensibility to effects of clinical variables. A strong relation between perception and/or interpretation of body signals and demand of nursing services was found (r = + 0.632). Post-operative pain stood out as a major factor controlling recovery of social and personal functioning, showing an inverse relation between them of r = - 0.492 and r = -0.611, respectively. Those and other indications are explored with a view to establish their clinical significance for the management of post-operative patients. Methodological limitations are discussed and suggestions for further investigations are offered. The results establish the usefulness of the methodological approach as a potent tool for illness behavior studies.

Palavras-chave : surgery; psychological consequences; behavioral medicine; illness behavior; verbal behavior; direct observation and measurement of behavior.

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