This paper describes an experiment testing the effect of informing patients about barium X-rays on their emotional reactions before and during the procedure. A self-report scale of emotions was used to compare the level of anxiety reported by the informed patients with that of control subjects who did not receive this information.

The barium meal study showed no differences in anxiety scores between informed and control subjects, most of whom reported low levels of anxiety. The enema study, however, showed significant differences in these scores. Informed patients reported less anxiety during the X-ray than controls, who frequently reported high levels prior to and during X-ray.