Patient satisfaction with on-demand sedation for outpatient colonoscopy

Endoscopy. 2010 Aug;42(8):639-46. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1255612. Epub 2010 Jul 28.


Background and study aim: To reduce the costs of colonoscopy the feasibility of unsedated procedures has been explored. The aims of our study were to assess patient satisfaction with on-demand sedation and identify factors related to painful colonoscopy.

Patients and methods: The Norwegian Gastronet quality assurance documentation tools consist of endoscopy reports (completed on site) and a patient satisfaction questionnaire (completed by the patient on the day after colonoscopy). Data were collected from January 1 2004 to December 31 2006. Colonoscopies reported to be moderately or severely painful were defined as "painful colonoscopy."

Results: Nine endoscopy centers representing 86 endoscopists reported 14 915 examinations and 12 354 patient reports were returned (83 % response rate). Patient satisfaction with service and information given was greater than 95 % for all centers. Mean rate of painful colonoscopy was 34 % and mean sedation rate 34 %. Odds ratio (OR) for painful colonoscopy was 2.2 ( P < 0.001) when sedation was given. The ORs for painful colonoscopy were similar for all but one center (no. 4) with OR 1.6 ( P = 0.04), while the OR for giving sedation was higher for all but one center (no. 1) compared with the reference center (ORs 2.2 to 7.5, all P-values < 0.001).

Conclusion: A surprisingly high rate of painful colonoscopy was found. High sedation rates were not associated with low rates of painful colonoscopy. Recommending increased sedation rates as the only intervention to improve suboptimal performance might not lead to lower rates of painful colonoscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects
  • Colonoscopy / economics
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Conscious Sedation* / economics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Patient Satisfaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Analgesics
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives