Predictors of preoperative anxiety in surgical inpatients
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Aims and objectives. The aims of the present study were to identify the levels of preoperative anxiety in patients undergoing elective surgery and the relationship between preoperative anxiety and social support. In addition, predictors of preoperative anxiety were studied in surgical inpatients. Background. Major life changes are significant factors that cause anxiety; hospitalisation and surgery are among such changes. Social support may decrease the anxiety associated with surgery. Design. This is a descriptive study that included 500 patients in a surgery clinic. Methods. The data collected included: A Patient Information Form, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Surgical Anxiety Scale. The results were analysed using the Chi-square test and logistic regression analysis. Results. Five hundred patients participated in this research: 59.6% were female, 54.6% were 65 years of age or older, 80.6% were married, 70.4% were literate and 62% of the patients had moderate level surgery. There was a significant relationship between the sociodemographic patient features, the level of preoperative anxiety (p < 0.05), the presence of social support and the severity of anxiety (p = 0.001). The age and level of anxiety were not significant factors. The mean anxiety score for all patients was 31.91 (SD 6.30) and the mean social support score was 66.38 (SD 13.69). Conclusion. The results of this study showed that the preoperative anxiety of patients awaiting surgery was associated with demographic characteristics as well as social support resources. Relevance to clinical practice. Anxiety testing is feasible during the preoperative period. Such testing allows for the detection of patients with high anxiety, and for clinicians to take the appropriate steps to ameliorate this problem. Identification of patient anxiety allows for providing a focus on social support in an attempt to reduce the level of anxiety.