Distraction Techniques Help Ease Anxiety During Surgery

Distraction Techniques Help Ease Anxiety During Surgery
reposted fromJen Jelly
Have you had conscious surgery? It's commonly calledtwilight anesthesiaand it's used for certain minimally invasive surgical procedures. It's a lower dose of general anesthesia that's designed to relax the patient and make post surgery recovery quicker. During these procedures you are conscious enough to interact with doctors and nurses. Some people don't recall the experience afterwards, but some remember feelings of anxiety and painful sensations. Surgery makes most of us nervous, and when it's conscious surgery that anxiety can be overwhelming. A new study has found that using a few simple distraction techniques can help ease anxiety by up to 30% during surgery.

Ease Anxiety During Surgery With Distraction Techniques

Researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK have released a new study that found distraction techniques can ease anxiety during surgery by up to 30%. The 398 patients in the study were all scheduled to undergo surgery to remove vericose veins. During the surgery patients receive a local anesthetic and remain awake. This type of consciousness during surgical procedures has previously been found to increase anxiety. Many patients have recalled feeling burning sensations, having unfamiliar feelings and a feeling of uneasiness listening to the doctors and nurses discuss the medical procedure. To test whether anxiety and pain could be reduced during these surgeries each of the patients was assigned one of four distraction techniques. One group listened to music, another watched a DVD, some were given stress balls, and the fourth group were engaged with a nurse during the procedure. Another group underwent the surgery without any distraction methods applied. After the surgery each of the patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their experience.

Distraction Techniques Eased Anxiety by Up to 30%

The patients that interacted with the nurse during surgery saw a 30% reduction in and anxiety and 16% less pain. Those who used stress balls saw a 18% reduction in anxiety and 22% less pain. Those that watched a DVD during surgery saw a 25% reduction in anxiety but no measurable difference in pain. Interestingly enough those that were given music to listen to didn't observe any difference.
Our research has found a simple and inexpensive way toimprove patients' experiencesof this common and unpleasant procedure, and could be used for a wide range of other operations carried out without a general anesthetic. This could also include the great number of exploratory procedures, such as colonoscopies and hysteroscopies, which are all done while patients are conscious. - Professor Jane Ogden


This was the first study to observe the results of using simple distraction techniques during surgery. Results may not be conclusive but they're promising. If something as simple as watching a DVD can help ease anxiety during surgery I'm all for it. The best case scenario is a 25% reduction in anxiety, the worst is that I just caught up on the last season of Game of Thrones.

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