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Paediatr Anaesth. 2007 Nov;17(11):1035-42.

Assessing parents preferences for the avoidance of undesirable anesthesia side effects in their children undergoing surgical procedures.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0211, USA.



Willingness to pay (WTP) surveys have proven to be useful tools in determining patient preferences though relatively few pediatric studies have utilized them. Studies in the adult surgical population have used such methods to assess patients' perspectives regarding the avoidance of anesthesia side effects or outcomes. The purpose of this survey was to assess parental preferences, using a relative WTP model, for the avoidance of anesthesia side effects in their children undergoing surgery.


The survey was distributed to 150 parents of children who were undergoing surgery. Parents were asked to rank order (1 = most unwanted to 7 = least troublesome) six stated potential anesthesia side effects and to allocate a fixed dollar percentage of a $100 toward prevention of each. A total of 142 surveys were returned (95% response rate).


Parents ranked vomiting as the least desirable side effect for their child (rank order = 1.9) and pain as second (rank order = 2.14). However, parents allocated $33.48 to prevent pain compared with $28.89 for vomiting as a relative dollar amount.


This study suggests that targeting management toward the prevention of these adverse outcomes may improve parental satisfaction with anesthesia care of their children.

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