Predictors of preoperative anxiety in children

Anaesth Intensive Care. 2003 Feb;31(1):69-74. doi: 10.1177/0310057X0303100114.


This study aimed to identify factors contributing to anxiety at induction of anaesthesia in children. One hundred and twenty children aged five to twelve years and scheduled for surgery requiring general anaesthesia were included. Children were interviewed and assessed prior to surgery. Parents completed anxiety measures prior to surgery and were interviewed after the induction of anaesthesia. The level of children's anxiety was determined at the time of induction of anaesthesia by the modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale. Factors associated with increased levels of anxiety in the children included increased number of people in the room at induction of anaesthesia; longer waiting time between admission at the hospital and induction of anaesthesia; negative memories of previous hospital experiences; and having a mother who does not practise a religion. Suggestions for implementation of the findings and for future research are provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / psychology*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires