General anaesthesia and day-case patient anxiety

Mitchell, Mark ORCID: 2010, 'General anaesthesia and day-case patient anxiety' , Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66 (5) , 1059 -1071.

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Aims: This paper is a report of a study carried out to uncover the most anxiety provoking aspects of general anaesthesia and determine what interventions may help to alleviate such anxiety. Background: General anaesthesia has proven to be highly anxiety provoking. With the rise in elective day surgery, this aspect of the patients’ experience has become a prominent issue. Indeed, with the brief hospital stay, limited contact with healthcare professionals, restricted formal anxiety management and acute psychological impact of day surgery, such anxiety may be increasing. Method: As part of a larger study, a questionnaire was given on the day of surgery to 1250 adult patients undergoing surgery and general anaesthesia. The issue examined was anxiety in relation to the environment, hospital personnel and general anaesthesia. Participants were requested to return the questionnaire by mail 24 - 48 hours following surgery and 460 completed questionnaires were returned. Findings: A total of 85% of patients experienced some anxiety on the day of surgery. Immediate pre-operative experiences and concerns regarding unconsciousness were highly anxiety provoking. Using factor analysis Pre-operative Anaesthetic Information, Anaesthetic Catastrophising, Final Support, Personal Support, Imminence of Surgery, Possible Adverse Events and Final Pre-operative Experiences were identified as central features. Multiple regression demonstrated Pre-operative Anaesthetic Information, Anaesthetic Catastrophising and Imminence of Surgery were statistically significantly associated with an overall increased level of anxiety. Conclusions: Focusing on the timely, formal delivery of information about anaesthesia management, emphasising the notion of ‘controlled unconsciousness’ and dispelling misconceptions associated with general anaesthesia may help to limit patient anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RT Nursing
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0309-2402
Depositing User: MJ Mitchell
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 10:33
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 15:40

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