Revista Espanola De Anestesiologia Y Reanimacion [Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim] 2000 Jan; Vol. 47 (1), pp. 10-4.
Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Preoperative Care, Prospective Studies, Surveys and Questionnaires, Anesthesia, Patient Education as Topic, and Patient Satisfaction
Objective: The information patients receive about anesthesia in the preoperative period must be clear in order to assure their understanding and involvement in making decisions about proposed techniques. A sheet providing basic general information about anesthesia can prepare the patient for consultation with the anesthesiologist. Patients and Methods: A questionnaire with 14 yes/no questions was designed for this prospective, descriptive study. We surveyed 184 consecutive patients referred for preanesthetic assessment before elective surgery in a general hospital on the outskirts of Barcelona. Results: The information sheet was judged good and necessary for obtaining informed consent by between 96 and 97% of the patients. A similar percentage judged the comprehensibility of the sheet to be good, although 15% did not correctly answer questions about matters that were covered by the sheet. Anxiety increased after reading the sheet for 12%, and 10% even began to tremble. Additional clarification was requested by 9%. Conclusions: An information sheet improves comprehension of anesthetic procedures and facilitates informed consent. However, a need for further clarification is generated in a small proportion of patients and a substantial proportion believes the sheet caused greater fear. We therefore believe that information should be adapted to the particular requests and needs of individual patients.