Research Article

Response of patients to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: effect of inherent personality traits and premedication with diazepam.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 24 July 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:251
  1. M J Webberley,
  2. A Cuschieri


    The influence of personality traits on the reaction of patients to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was studied prospectively in 86 patients. High N (neuroticism) scores on the Eysenck personality inventory were associated with poor tolerance to and future compliance with the procedure. Although premedication with diazepam did not affect the degree of discomfort and distress during the procedure, it guaranteed acceptance of repeat endoscopy by virtue of its strong amnesic effect. By contrast, not giving premedication to patients who were anxious and had high N scores jeopardized future compliance. These findings suggest that a version of the Eysenck personality inventory should be used to assess patients' neurotic phenotype and their need for premedication before endoscopy. Alternatively, all patients might be given premedication.