The Use Of The Theory Transactional Model Of Stress And Coping

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Surgery has been shown to create tremendous stress for someone despite the many times they may have undergone surgery before. Understanding one’s attitude and expectations in regards to surgery is necessary to assist them in identifying ways to better cope. Use of the theory Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (Lazarus, 1998) can be used as a guide to evaluate effects of a preoperative education class on the knowledge level, expectations, preparedness, and coping skills for those undergoing surgery. This theory originally evolved to understand why some individuals fare better than others when encountering stress in their lives. Stress has many definitions, and can be viewed in many ways whether as a
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The model breaks the stressor-stress link by proposing that if stressors are perceived as positive or challenging rather than a threat, and the person is confident they possess adequate coping skills, the person may not react via a negative stressed anxiety reaction but instead consider outcomes as positive or beneficial.
In the secondary appraisal period the person is evaluating coping options to best deal with the changes and undesirable conditions that may have an impact on their well-being after identifying whether they do or do not have a stake in the encounter. They are making decisions on whether to use internal options of coping such as power and inner strength; or whether to use external options such as peer support or professional help. This time period is where resources are evaluated to decide how to create a more positive environment in light of the current stress (Perrewe & Zellers, 1999). Lazarus and colleagues also describe both problem-based coping strategies and emotional-based coping strategies that are employed by the person in response to reappraisal of the encounter between person and environment (Lazarus, 1998). The model proposes that stress can be reduced by helping the stressed person change their perceptions of stressors and by providing them with strategies to help them cope and improve their confidence
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