ABSTRACT

Hong Kong Med J 1999;5:21–6 | Number 1, March 1999
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Parental anxiety associated with participation in anaesthetic induction in children: questionnaire survey
JCZ Lui, KK Wu
Department of Anaesthesia, Caritas Medical Centre, 111 Wing Hong Street, Shamshuipo, Kowloon, Hong Kong
 
 
OBJECTIVE. To determine the reasons why Chinese parents for accompanying their child during anaesthetic induction; to explore the level of anxiety experienced by the parents; and to evaluate the factors that contribute to parental anxiety.
 
DESIGN. Questionnaire study of Chinese parents who had chosen to be present during the anaesthetic induction of their child between January 1997 and July 1997.
 
SETTING. Day Surgery Unit at a public hospital, Hong Kong.
 
PARTICIPANTS. One hundred and fifty-one Chinese parents of 151 children undergoing general anaesthetic for surgery.
 
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Parental anxiety, as evaluated by a self-reporting rating system and the State-Trait Anxiety Scale.
 
RESULTS. More than half (56%) of the participants graded their experience as either "very anxious but tolerable" or "a little anxious", and only 2% graded the situation as "very anxious, intolerable". All participants were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their experience. The type of surgery and any history of previous surgical intervention were found to be factors that determined the level of state anxiety (P
 
CONCLUSIONS. Most Chinese parents decide to be present at their child’s anaesthetic induction because of a sense of duty and concern. Parental presence does not provoke further or intolerable parental anxiety. One limitation of this study is that the level of anxiety measured might be due to the combination of anaesthetic induction and surgery rather than to concerns about anaesthetic induction alone.
 
Key words: Anesthesia; Anxiety; Child; Parent-child relations; Preoperative care; Psychology; Questionnaires
 
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