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Anesth Analg. 1997 Feb;84(2):427-32.

Premedication in the United States: a status report.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


We undertook a mailing survey study to assess the current practice of sedative premedication in anesthesia. A total of 5396 questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected physician members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Forty-six percent (n = 2421) of those sampled returned the questionnaire after two mailings. The reported rate of sedative premedication in the United States varied widely among age groups and geographical locations. Premedicant sedative drugs were least often used with children younger than age 3 years and most often used with adults less than 65 years of age (25% vs 75%, P = 0.001). Midazolam was the most frequently used premedicant both in adults and children (> 75%). When analyzed based on geographical locations, use of sedative premedicants among adults was least frequent in the Northeast region and most frequent in the Southeast region (50% vs 90%, P = 0.001). When the frequency of premedication was examined against health maintenance organization (HMO) penetration (i.e., HMO enrollment by total population) in the various geographical regions, correlation coefficients (r) ranged from -0.96 to -0.54. Multivariable analysis revealed that HMO penetration is an independent predictor for the use of premedication in adults and children. The marked variation among geographical areas in premedicant usage patterns underscores the lack of consensus among anesthesiologists about the need for premedication. The data suggest that HMO participation may affect delivery of this component of anesthetic care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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