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Br J Nurs. 2012 Apr 26-May 9;21(8):479-83.

The role of anxiolytic premedication in reducing preoperative anxiety.

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1
Department of Perioperative Nursing, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

Prevention of preoperative anxiety with anxiolytic premedication is associated with improved preoperative outcomes in surgical patients. The objective of the authors' study was to evaluate the percentage of surgical patients that are prescribed premedication for preoperative anxiety before their anticipated surgical procedure. A prospective study was carried out by theatre nursing staff in the theatre reception bay of a university teaching hospital. A questionnaire was designed to record the number of patients that described symptoms consistent with preoperative anxiety. The number of patients that had been offered anxiolytic premedication for preoperative anxiety was also recorded. Consent was obtained from 115 consecutive surgical patients (male, n=52; female, n=63). Of these, 66% (n=76) reported anxiety before their surgical procedure (male: n=27, female: n=49). Premedication with a low-dose benzodiazepine was prescribed by an anaesthetist in 4% of cases (n=5). Patients that received premedication preoperatively reported effective relief of their anxiety symptoms This study demonstrates that preoperative patient anxiety is highly prevalent. The authors' findings suggest that premedication with anxiolytic pharmacological therapy may be an underused therapeutic resource for managing preoperative patient anxiety.

PMID:
22585076
DOI:
10.12968/bjon.2012.21.8.479
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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