Patient tolerance and acceptance of unsedated ultrathin esophagoscopy

Gastrointest Endosc. 2002 May;55(6):620-3. doi: 10.1067/mge.2002.123274.


Background: Unsedated endoscopy has not gained wide acceptance in the United States. Factors that may predict tolerance and acceptance of unsedated endoscopy are ill defined.

Methods: Outpatients referred for standard EGD were recruited to undergo unsedated ultrathin esophagoscopy (UUE) with a new 3.1-mm battery-powered esophagoscope before sedated EGD. They rated preprocedure and postprocedure anxiety levels with the Profile of Mood States Tension/Anxiety subscale (POMS-SF T/A). They also rated symptoms and overall acceptability and listed procedural preference between EGD and UUE. Patients who refused UUE noted a reason for refusal and also completed the anxiety questionnaire.

Results: Fifty-two of 98 patients recruited agreed to participate, and underwent both UUE and EGD. Patients who refused UUE were significantly more anxious (mean anxiety score, 8.2 vs. 4.5, p < 0.005). Participants reported no significant difference between preprocedural (4.6 vs. 5.3) or postprocedural (3.5 vs. 2.6) anxiety for UUE versus standard EGD. After undergoing both procedures, only 46% stated they would prefer UUE to EGD in the future. Patients who chose the peroral approach were more likely to prefer UUE than those who chose the transnasal approach (58% vs. 23%, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: Patient acceptance of unsedated endoscopy even with an ultrathin instrument is limited. Anxiety assessment by the POMS-SF T/A can identify patients willing to undergo UUE. Patients who choose transoral UUE may be more willing to repeat the procedure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Conscious Sedation*
  • Esophageal Diseases / pathology*
  • Esophageal Diseases / surgery*
  • Esophagoscopes*
  • Esophagoscopy / adverse effects
  • Esophagoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychological Tests