Improving Self-Reported Preoperative Anxiety Through a Preoperative Education Program: A Quality Improvement Project


Journal Article

© Copyright 2019 Springer Publishing Company, LLC. Background: Preoperative education is an important component of preparing patients for surgery. Preoperative anxiety is one of the most important problems for patients, because it causes emotional and psychiatric problems as well as physical problems. Anxiety has been associated with several pathophysiological responses such as hypertension and dysrhythmias, which can increase perioperative morbidity. Estimates suggest that between 11% and 80% of adult presurgical patients experience heightened levels of anxiety. Objective: The purpose of this pilot project was to develop a preoperative education program for thoracic surgery patients and to assess the effectiveness of the program in decreasing patient's self-reported anxiety levels using the validated Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) tool. Methods: This quality improvement project used a pre- and posttest improvement design to evaluate patient's self-reported anxiety levels at three different timepoints during the preoperative and postoperative period. A total of 15 patients from a thoracic surgery practice participated in the study. Results: The study showed no statistically significant change in patients' self-reported anxiety levels after completion of the preoperative education program (p =.538). Patients reported improvements in parameters such as expectations, pain, and preparedness. Conclusions: Although some studies have found that preoperative patient education decreases anxiety, this study supports others that indicate that anxiety is not affected by or associated with educational preparation prior to thoracic surgery. Though no statistical improvement in anxiety levels was demonstrated in this study, a majority of patients reported improvements in parameters such as expectations, pain, and preparedness. Implications for Nursing: As patient education is largely provided by the nursing profession, this article will help the profession to better understand what is important for patients to know in the preoperative setting. Setting patient expectations has a great impact on the patient's recovery and satisfaction with their surgical experience. As this is a pilot study, the goal is for continued research in the area of decreasing preoperative anxiety and preparing patients for surgery.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bell, J; Paul, S; Sesti, J; Granger, B

Published Date

  • April 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 117 - 124

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2380-9426

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2380-9418

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1891/2380-9418.12.1.117

Citation Source

  • Scopus