PURPOSE: Patients preparing to undergo surgery should not suffer needless anxiety. This study aimed to evaluate anxiety levels on the day before surgery as related to the information known by the patient regarding the diagnosis, surgical procedure, or anesthesia. METHOD: Patients reported their knowledge of diagnosis, surgery, and anesthesia. The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was used to measure patient anxiety levels. RESULTS: One hundred and forty-nine patients were selected, and 82 females and 38 males were interviewed. Twenty-nine patients were excluded due to illiteracy. The state-anxiety levels were alike for males and females (36.10 ± 11.94 vs. 37.61 ± 8.76) (mean ± SD). Trait-anxiety levels were higher for women (42.55 ± 10.39 vs. 38.08 ± 12.25, P = 0.041). Patient education level did not influence the state-anxiety level but was inversely related to the trait-anxiety level. Knowledge of the diagnosis was clear for 91.7% of patients, of the surgery for 75.0%, and of anesthesia for 37.5%. Unfamiliarity with the surgical procedure raised state-anxiety levels (P = 0.021). A lower state-anxiety level was found among patients who did not know the diagnosis but knew about the surgery (P = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: Increased knowledge of patients regarding the surgery they are about to undergo may reduce their state-anxiety levels.
Anxiety; Information; Surgery; Anesthesia; Diagnosis