A survey of anesthetic preference and preoperative anxiety in hip and knee arthroplasty patients: the utility of the outpatient preoperative anesthesia appointment
The general public’s perceptions of anesthesia and the risks associated with it may be skewed. The outpatient preoperative appointment with an anesthesiologist allows for patient education regarding different anesthetic options and counseling regarding anxiety related to anesthesia and surgery. This study investigates whether the preoperative appointment for hip and knee arthroplasty alters patient preference for general or spinal anesthesia and reduces patient anxiety.
Sixty-two patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty were administered two verbal questionnaires at the preoperative clinic. The first questionnaire was completed prior to meeting the anesthesiologist and addressed patient anesthetic preferences, previous anesthetic experiences, and perioperative anxiety and need for information using the Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale (APAIS). The second questionnaire was completed immediately following the appointment and addressed the patient’s anesthetic preference, reasons for any preference changes, and anxiety levels and need for information using the APAIS. The clinic anesthesiologist was blinded to the nature of the study.
Following the clinic appointment, a significant decrease in patients wanting general anesthesia (from 48 to 18%, P < 0.001) and a significant increase in patients wanting spinal anesthesia (from 39 to 76%, 95%, P < 0.01) was noted. A significant decrease in overall anxiety and anxiety related to the patients’ upcoming surgeries and need for information was also noted.
The preoperative anesthesia meeting serves an important role in educating patients regarding anesthesia, and can influence patients’ choice of anesthetic while also reducing overall patient anxiety.
KeywordsRegional anesthesia Preoperative anxiety
We would like to thank Joelle B. Thorpe, PhD for her editorial advice and for her help in preparing this manuscript for publication. We would also like to thank Rachel Phelan, MSc for her assistance with statistical analysis.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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