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Br J Anaesth. 2010 Mar;104(3):369-74. doi: 10.1093/bja/aeq002. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Effect of preoperative multimedia information on perioperative anxiety in patients undergoing procedures under regional anaesthesia.

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  • 1Division of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.



Provision of preoperative information can alleviate patients' anxiety. However, the ideal method of delivering this information is unknown. Video information has been shown to reduce patients' anxiety, although little is known regarding the effect of preoperative multimedia information on anxiety in patients undergoing regional anaesthesia.


We randomized 110 patients undergoing upper or lower limb surgery under regional anaesthesia into the study and control groups. The study group watched a short film (created by the authors) depicting the patient's in-hospital journey including either a spinal anaesthetic or a brachial plexus block. Patients' anxiety was assessed before and after the film and 1 h before and within 8 h after their operation, using the Spielberger state trait anxiety inventory and a visual analogue scale.


There was no difference in state and trait anxiety between the two groups at enrollment. Women had higher baseline state and trait anxiety than men (P=0.02). Patients in the control group experienced an increase in state anxiety immediately before surgery (P<0.001), and patients in the film group were less anxious before operation than those in the control group (P=0.04). After operation, there was a decrease in state anxiety from baseline in both groups, but patients in the film group were less anxious than the control group (P=0.005).


Preoperative multimedia information reduces the anxiety of patients undergoing surgery under regional anaesthesia. This type of information is easily delivered and can benefit many patients.

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