Awake Craniotomy and Coaching

Carla Ruis, Irene Huenges Wajer, Pierre Robe, Martine van Zandvoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The importance of monitoring cognition during awake craniotomy has been well described in previous studies. The relevance of being coached during such a procedure has received less attention and questions still remain unanswered about what factors are the most important herein. Objective: The aim of this study was to qualitatively analyze what factors were, according to our patients, important in being coaching during awake craniotomy. Methods: Twenty-six patients who underwent awake craniotomy received a questionnaire about their experiences during the procedure. The questions concerned different aspects of the pre-operative part, the operation itself and coaching aspects. Answers were qualitatively analyzed by two investigators and per question, different answer categories were made. Results: Two thirds of the 20 patients who responded to the questionnaire reported anxiety in the days before or during the operation, varying from general anxiety for being awake during surgery to anxiety for very specific aspects such as opening the skull. The constant presence of the neuropsychologist and a transparent communication during the procedure were most frequently (65% of all the answers) reported as helpful in staying calm. Conclusion: Results of this descriptive study show that patients experience different anxieties before and during an awake craniotomy and give more insight into what factors are important for patients in being coached during such an operation. This study gives directions for clinicians in improving their role as a coach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-389
JournalOpen Journal of Medical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Coaching
  • Awake Craniotomy
  • Anxiety
  • Reassurance
  • Cognition


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