Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Luz S. Porter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Divina Grossman

Third Advisor's Name

Janvier Gasana

Date of Defense



Circadian rhythms, patterns of each twenty-four hour period, are found in most bodily functions. The biological cycles of between 20 and 28 hours have a profound effect on an individual's mood, level of performance, and physical well being. Loss of synchrony of these biological rhythms occurs with hospitalization, surgery and anesthesia. The purpose of this comparative, correlational study was to determine the effects of circadian rhythm disruption in post-surgical recovery. Data were collected during the pre-operative and post-operative periods in the following indices: body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, urine cortisol level and locomotor activity. The data were analyzed by cosinor analysis for evidence of circadian rhythmicity and disruptions throughout the six day study period which encompassed two days pre-operatively, two days post-operatively, and two days after hospital discharge. The sample consisted of five men and five women who served as their own pre-surgical control. The surgical procedures were varied. Findings showed evidence of circadian disruptions in all subjects post-operatively, lending support for the hypotheses.




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