Research Article

Effect of preoperative anaesthetic visit on anxiety.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6093.987 (Published 15 October 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:987
  1. J M Leigh,
  2. J Walker,
  3. P Janaganathan

    Abstract

    Anxiety levels measured in patients who received preoperative reassurance about anaesthesia from a member of the hospital staff were significantly lower than those in a control group given no such support. Anxiety levels in patients who read a booklet designed to reassure about anaesthesia were less significantly reduced. Owing to the increasing work load in the operating theatre many anaesthetists can no longer afford the time to visit patients preoperatively. This study shows that either this trend should be reversed or the role of reassurer should be assumed by someone else, possibly the anaesthetic nurse. For optimal effect, the visits should be combined with use of the booklet. Unless such measures are taken, up to three million people each year may be being denied any form of reassurance before surgical treatment.