Anxiety among patients undergoing major general surgery
Background and objectives: It has been recognized for more than 40 years that patients experience different levels of anxiety when faced with impending surgery. The degree to which each patient manifests anxiety is related to many factors; this study aims to assess the level of anxiety among patients undergoing major general surgery and to identify the effect of gender on preoperative anxiety.
Patients and methods: A sample of 300 patients who were admitted from 5th April 2009 to the 10th November 2009; in general surgery units of teaching hospitals ( Rezgari & Hawler ) in Erbil city were interviewed to assess their level of anxiety before surgery. The instrument used for this purpose was a questionnaire that included socio-demographic information and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) of Spilberger.
Results: Most of the patients showed moderate to severe anxiety level; (moderate=50% and severe=38.3%) others showed mild anxiety level (11.7%). A statistically significant relationship was seen between preoperative anxiety and gender; female patients showed high levels of anxiety (severe anxiety=46.9%) while male patients showed less severe anxiety level (severe anxiety=28.6%).
Conclusions: According to the results of the study patients undergoing major general surgery need to be assessed regarding level of anxiety before surgery. This anxiety should be reduced through appropriate interventions, especially in women who have been found to experience high levels of anxiety.
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