Quarterly scientific journal

Patient information and preoperative anxiety

Areti Kourgiantaki , Georgia Fasoi , Martha Kelesi-Stavropoulou , Evridiki Kampa , Areti Stavropoulou


Introduction: Surgical procedures include invasive surgical techniques that affect the patients’ physical and psychosocial status and increase the levels of anxiety. Aim: To assess the relationship between the preoperative information provided to surgical patient and the preoperative anxiety. Methodology: The research study took place between September and December 2015 using a descriptive correlational design. The study sample consisted of 124 surgical patients of a general hospital of the region of Attiki, Athens. Inclusion of participants in the study was based on specific criteria. Data were collected by using a questionnaire, developed by the researchers after an extensive literature review and the anxiety depression scale HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Ethical procedures were taken into account throughout the research study. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 19.0 statistical program. Results: The majority of the patients (70.2%), stated that they were satisfied by the amount of information provided, while 56.1% stated that they wished to have some additional information. Most of the patients (86.1%) reported that the preoperative information provided before surgery was very beneficial to them. The outcome of the surgical procedure (56.5%) and postoperative pain (48.4%) were strongly associated with preoperative anxiety. The desire for more information was positively correlated with depressive symptoms. Patients who wished to obtain detailed information before surgery and those who felt that the information was beneficial to them before surgery were less likely to develop symptoms of depression. The high educational level of patients appeared to have a positive correlation with preoperative anxiety. Conclusions: Provision of information at a preoperative stage can reduce preoperative anxiety and depressive symptoms. Further investigation is essential taking into account the unique characteristics and the specific needs of the patients.

Keywords: Preoperative information, surgical patient, preoperative anxiety, depression, HADS scale

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