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Minerva Anestesiol. 2006 Jun;72(6):461-5.

Preoperative parental information and parents' presence at induction of anaesthesia.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Polyclinic of Catania, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.


Preoperative preparation of paediatric patients and their environment in order to prevent anxiety is an important issue in paediatric anaesthesia. Anxiety in paediatric patients may lead to immediate negative postoperative responses. When a child undergoes surgery, information about the child's anaesthesia must be provided to parents who are responsible for making informed choices about healthcare on their child's behalf. A combination of written, pictorial, and verbal information would improve the process of informed consent. The issue of parental presence during induction of anaesthesia has been a controversial topic for many years. Potential benefits from parental presence at induction include reducing or avoiding the fear and anxiety that might occur in both the child and its parents, reducing the need for preoperative sedatives, and improving the child's compliance even if other studies showed no effects on the anxiety and satisfaction level. The presence of other figures such as clowns in the operating room, together with one of the child's parents, is an effective intervention for managing child and parent anxiety during the preoperative period.

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