Effectiveness of orientation tour on children's anxiety before elective surgeries



Aim:  The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an orientated tour in reduction of children's anxiety before elective surgeries. Anxiety is a common emotional reaction following surgical experience among children that can result in increasing postoperative pain, increasing analgesic use.

Methods:  The study was a blinded clinical trial; 70 children were randomized into two groups (intervention and control). All children received standard preoperative care, while those in the intervention group also received an orientated tour with their mother of the operation room the night before the surgery was carried out. The children's anxiety was assessed by the “Child Drawing: Hospital” instrument and vital signs measured before and after intervention in both groups. Data were analyzed with SPSS ver. 11.5 software.

Results:  Anxiety decreased in the intervention group following implementation of the orientated tour (P = 0.024). Following the orientated tour in the intervention group, respiration rate (P < 0.000) and blood pressure (P < 0.001 systolic and diastolic) were significantly reduced, while heart rate and body temperature were not significantly different to pre-intervention. Comparison changes of vital signs following the orientated tour between the two groups was not significant.

Conclusion:  Implementation of an orientated tour of the preoperative room can decrease anxiety levels in children before elective surgeries, but it has no clinical effect on vital signs.