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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;72(10):1523-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.07.004. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Children's pre-operative tonsillectomy pain education: clinical outcomes.

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Department of Patient Care Services, University of California Davis Health System, United States.



To examine the effects of pre-operative tonsillectomy pain education on children's (7-13 years) self-reported pre-operative anxiety and post-operative clinical outcomes (i.e., anxiety, pain intensity, quality of pain and sleep, oral intake, perceptions of pre-operative education, and pain expectation).


A prospective, repeated measures, quasi-experimental design using an age appropriate pain education booklet (n = 30) and a standard care comparison group (n = 30) was employed to investigate children's pre- and post-education anxiety and post-operative tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy subjective experiences in the hospital and home settings. Group comparisons were performed using the Wilcoxon test, Fisher's exact test, repeated measures analysis of variance, and mixed model regression.


There were no significant differences between groups for measures of anxiety, pain intensity, quality of pain and sleep, oral intake, or expected pain. There was no change in anxiety before or after pre-operative education (P = 0.85). Ninety-six percent (n = 25) of the children in the intervention group reported that pre-operative pain education helped with their post-operative pain and 72% (n = 16) in the control group stated that it would be helpful to learn about pain before surgery. The majority of children in both the intervention and control groups (96%, 91%, respectively) stated learning about the 0-10 numeric pain intensity scale helped or would be helpful to learn pre-operatively.


Pre-operative pain education did not affect anxiety. Children valued pre-operative pain education. Pre-operative pain education may influence children's perceptions of medical care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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