Background: Adherence rates for screening colonoscopy remain low. There are little data describing pre-colonoscopy patient concepts, values, and preferences for sedation during colonoscopy. In this study, we sought to investigate preprocedure patient values regarding sedation use for colonoscopy.
Methods: Questionnaires were administered to 210 consecutive outpatients presenting for colonoscopy. An unscaled visual analog scale was used to value each of eight statements relating to sedation.
Results: The statement receiving the highest valuation was "I don't want to feel any pain" (mean score, 82 +/- 21), followed by "I want to go to sleep and not wake up until the procedure is over" (mean score, 71 +/- 31), and "I want to be alert as soon as possible after the procedure" (mean score, 65 +/- 30). The statement receiving the lowest value was "I'd like to watch as much of the procedure as I can" (22 +/- 29). Patients who preferred to undergo colonoscopy without sedation were more likely to be men (P = 0.001) and more likely to have graduate or professional educational degrees (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that, on average, American patients place the highest valuation on experiencing no pain during colonoscopy, waking up promptly after the procedure, and for going to sleep and not waking up until the procedure is over. However, unsedated colonoscopy does appeal to a small minority of patients, primarily men with graduate educations.