Background: Preoperative anxiety is a common perioperative complication seen in approximately 11-80% of adults undergoing surgery. One of the goals of the preanaesthesia clinic is to allay anxiety. A preanaesthesia clinic evaluation has been shown to reduce anxiety however current studies on anxiety and the preanaesthesia clinic have not quantified this reduction. Objective: To determine the reduction in anxiety in patients evaluated in the clinic versus those evaluated in the ward. Methods: Fifty one adult patients with 28 patients in anaesthesia clinic (AC) group and 23 in the ward (W) group were sequentially recruited from both the surgical, gynaecology and antenatal outpatient clinics and the wards. The patient’s State Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) was taken once the patient was booked for theatre. The patients then had a preanaesthesia evaluation either in the preanaesthesia outpatient clinic (PAC) or in the wards. Another STAI score was taken in the preoperative area in theatre on the day of surgery. The difference in the change of STAI scores in both groups was then analysed. Results: Fifty one adult patients were recruited with 28 in the AC group and 23 in the W group. The majority of patients were female (n=38). Statistically significant difference was seen in the reduction of the anxiety scores between the clinic group 2.143 (C.I=1.384-2.902) and ward group 0.74(C.I=0.17-1.31) with a p value=0.0051.There was also significant difference in reduction in anxiety scores within ward group in the patients with no prior anaesthetic experience having a greater reduction than those with prior anaesthetic experience. There were no other significant differences between the two groups. Conclusion: Patients evaluated in the anaesthesia clinic had a greater reduction in their anxiety but it was not as much as hypothesised which may be due to the multi-factorial nature of preoperative anxiety. A larger multicenter study is recommended to increase generalizability to the population.
- Cohort study
- Consultation on adult patient anxiety
- Preanaesthesia clinic