Quarterly scientific journal

Exploration of patients’ and doctors’ perceptions of the role of anesthesiologist and anesthesia

Panagiota Ntouma , Korina Katsaliaki

Abstract

Anesthesiology is a medical specialty with rapid development in the recent decades. The work of anesthetists, however, is not recognized in the medical circles and research reports that patients have incomplete knowledge about anesthesia and the anesthesiologist. Purpose: The purpose of the present research was to assess the views of patients and doctors of other specialties in Greece, for the role of the anesthesiologist and anesthesia. Material and Methods: The study was conducted at the General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Papageorgiou, with the use of questionnaires, during January-March 2014, and data were analyzed with SPSS 15. The study included 100 participants from the surgical clinics and 50 doctors from other specialties. Results: The vast majority of patients (> 90%), who took part in the research, are aware that the anesthesiologist is a physician but are not aware of the specific tasks undertaken in the peri-operative period. Also, they have knowledge for several of their out of surgery activities, except from their involvement in the radiology department (16%), the pain clinic (23%) and the psychiatric clinic (20%). The same lack of knowledge is evident for the latter by the other physicians too (only 22% was aware) as well as for the necessary preoperative withhold of food and drink (34%), and the involvement of anesthesiologist in cardiology (44%), psychiatric (22%) clinics and radiology department (42%). However, they are generally aware of most of anesthesiologist’s tasks and anesthesia’s complications. Conclusions: The research shows the need to intensify efforts from anesthesiologists to inform patients about issues related to anesthesiology. Doctors of other specialties lack expertise in specific issues of anesthesiology; therefore they need additional training in order to contribute in informing patients

Keywords: Anesthesiology, patient perceptions, physicians’ perceptions, anesthesiologists role

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