Objective: To find out levels of preoperative anxiety and its nature in female patients awaiting elective surgery. Material and Methods: This comparative cross-sectional study was done in surgical units of Civil Hospital, Karachi from January 2008 to March 2008. Anxiety level was measured in admitted female (as case) and males (as control) patients awaiting elective surgery. Patients were asked to complete two visual analog scales (VAS) regarding anxietyabout the proposed surgery and anesthesia (range 0-100). They were then asked to select different factors responsible for their anxiety from a list. Student-t test and Chi2 tests were applied where appropriate to find out significant difference between two groups. Results: Mean ± SD anxiety score for surgery was 68.94±21.56 for females and 47.55±25.94 for males. Mean ± SD anxiety score for anesthesia was 49.98±23.68 for females and 28.79±25.95 for males. There was statistically significant high level of pre-operative anxiety in females as compared to males (p<0.00001). Change of environment, waiting time of surgery, postoperative pain, fear of one's life, nil per mouth, blood transfusion, fear of unknown, getting stuck with needles and awareness during surgery were the significant factors (p<0.01) responsible for increase preoperative anxiety in women as compared to males. Conclusion: Women experience high levels of preoperative anxiety. Establishment of preoperative counseling clinics will help in reducing the preoperative anxiety and improving the quality of care in this respect. Key words: Preoperative Anxiety, Gender Difference, Anesthesia.
This article may be cited as: Masood Z, Haider J, Jawaid M, Alam SN. Preoperative anxiety in female patients: The issue needs to be addressed. KUST Med J 2009; 1(2): 38-41.
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