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Patterns and frequency of anxiety in women undergoing gynaecological surgery.

Carr, E. C.J., Brockbank, K., Allen, S. and Strike, P., 2006. Patterns and frequency of anxiety in women undergoing gynaecological surgery. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15 (3), 341-352.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01285.x


Patterns and frequency of anxiety in women undergoing gynaecological surgery Aims. Within a gynaecological surgical setting to identify the patterns and frequency of anxiety pre- and postoperatively; to identify any correlation between raised anxiety levels and postoperative pain; to identify events, from the patients’ perspective, that may increase or decrease anxiety in the pre- and postoperative periods. Background. It is well documented that surgery is associated with increased anxiety, which has an adverse impact on patient outcomes. Few studies have been conducted to obtain the patient’s perspective on the experience of anxiety and the events and situations that aggravate and ameliorate it. Method. The study used a mixed method approach. The sample consisted of women undergoing planned gynaecological surgery. Anxiety was assessed using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Trait anxiety was measured at the time of recruitment. State anxiety was then assessed at six time points during the pre- and postoperative periods. Postoperative pain was also measured using a 10 cm visual analogue scale. Taped semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted approximately a week after discharge. Results. State anxiety rose steadily from the night before surgery to the point of leaving the ward to go to theatre. Anxiety then increased sharply prior to the anaesthetic decreasing sharply afterwards. Patients with higher levels of trait anxiety were more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety throughout their admission. Elevated levels of pre- and postoperative anxiety were associated with increased levels of postoperative pain. Telephone interviews revealed a range of events/situations that patients recalled distressing them and many were related to inadequate information. Conclusion. This study found higher rates of anxiety than previously reported and anxiety levels appeared raised before admission to hospital. This has important clinical and research implications.Relevance to clinical practice. Patients with high levels of anxiety may be identified preoperatively and interventions designed to reduce anxiety could be targeted to this vulnerable group. Patient experiences can inform the delivery of services to meet their health needs better.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:anxiety, gynaecology, nursing, pain, STAI, surgery
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:11478
Deposited By: Dr Eloise Carr LEFT
Deposited On:23 Sep 2009 18:09
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:25


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