According to Valenzuela et al. (2010), approximately 76% of patients suffered preoperative anxiety during their hospitalization. Additionally, preoperative anxiety is regarded to be a significant factor to influence rehabilitation of postoperative patients (Sadati et al., 2013), as it is highly likely to associate with postoperative pain, larger amount of anodyne usage and longer hospitalization time (Sadati et al., 2013). Although sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs are ordered as a routine medication before operation in many hospitals and medical centers, the negative side effects of these medications which may slow the recovery process are concerned by health professionals (Bradt et al., 2013). As a result, non-pharmacological nursing interventions to minimize preoperative anxiety are required urgently. This essay will evaluate the effect of some popular nursing interventions for reduction of preoperative anxiety and then discuss their generality or limitations in hospital settings.
Preoperative nursing visit is regarded as one of the safest and the most cost-effective strategies to offer mental and emotional comfort and education to the patient (Sadati et al., 2013). In Sadati et al’s study, it was conducted one day prior to surgery and focused on patient assessment, introducing the operating room environment, health team, the surgical process and teaching them how to cooperate with the health team during surgery(Sadati et al., 2013). Data was collected by trained nurse when patients were admitted to the ward and before transferred to the operating room. By comparing the data, Sadati et al. (2013) indicated that anxiety was markedly minimized in the group of patients who experienced nursing visit before surgery compared to control group which nursing visit is absent. Accordingly, many scientists found similar results, that is, patients who were visited and educated by nurses prior to operation suffered low level of preoperative anxiety, were more cooperative during surgery and have less pain after surgery (Sadati et al., 2013).
In conclusion, nursing visit, preoperative program and music therapy are all proved to be effective in preoperative anxiety relief. However, nursing visit is more universal than other nursing interventions, preoperative program and music therapy have some limitations to be generalized in most hospital and medical settings. Moreover, the latter two interventions require nurses with specific knowledge and skills to cope with the special target groups and challenging work.