Background: The provision of information before medical or surgical procedures should improve knowledge and allay anxiety about the pending procedure. This trial aimed to assess the value of an information video in this process.
Methods: Patients scheduled to undergo colonoscopy were approached about 1 week before the procedure. All patients were given an information leaflet about colonoscopy, and completed a Spielberger state anxiety inventory (STAI) questionnaire to assess baseline anxiety. The patients were then randomly assigned to watch or not watch the information video. Immediately before colonoscopy, all patients completed a second anxiety questionnaire and a knowledge questionnaire.
Findings: 198 patients were screened. 31 declined to participate and 17 were unable to complete the forms. Of the remaining 150 patients, 72 were assigned the video, and 78 no video. The groups were similar with regard to age, sex, educational attainment, and initial anxiety score. Female patients had higher baseline anxiety than male patients (mean STAI 46.3 [95% CI 44.9-47.7] vs 36.9 [35.5-38.3]; difference 9.4 [7.8-12.2], p=0.0008). Patients who had not had a previous colonoscopy had higher baseline anxiety scores than those who had prior experience of the procedure (46.9 [45.4-48.5] vs 36.3 [34.7-37.9]; difference 10.6 [7.5-13.8], p=0.0008). Patients who watched the video were significantly less anxious before colonoscopy than those who did not. The former also scored more highly in the knowledge questionnaire than the latter with regard to the purpose of the procedure, procedural details, and potential complications of colonoscopy.
Interpretation: An information video increases knowledge and decreases anxiety in patients preparing for colonoscopy.