Effects of handholding and providing information on anxiety in patients undergoing percutaneous vertebroplasty

J Clin Nurs. 2015 Dec;24(23-24):3459-68. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12928. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Aims and objectives: This study evaluated the effects of handholding and spoken information provided on the anxiety of patients undergoing percutaneous vertebroplasty under local anaesthesia.

Background: A surgical intervention usually entails physical discomfort and psychological burden. Furthermore, patients under local anaesthesia are conscious during the surgical intervention, which leads to more anxiety, as patients are aware of their surroundings in the operating theatre.

Design: A quasi-experimental design with a nonequivalent control group was utilised.

Methods: Amsterdam preoperative anxiety scale assessed psychological anxiety, while blood pressure and pulse were measured to evaluate physiological anxiety. Participants were 94 patients undergoing percutaneous vertebroplasty in a spine hospital in Gwangju Metropolitan City, South Korea. Thirty patients were assigned to Experimental Group I, 34 to the Experimental Group II and 30 to the control group. During a surgical intervention, nurses held the hands of those in Experimental Group I and provided them with spoken information. Patients in Experimental Group II experienced only handholding.

Results: Psychological anxiety in Experimental Group I was low compared to those in Experimental Group II and the control group. In addition, there were significant decreases in systolic blood pressure in both Experimental Groups compared to the control group.

Conclusions: Handholding and spoken information provided during a surgical intervention to mitigate psychological anxiety, and handholding to mitigate physiological anxiety can be used in nursing interventions with patients undergoing percutaneous vertebroplasty.

Relevance to clinical practice: Handholding and providing nursing information are possibly very useful interventions that are easily implemented by circulating nurses during a surgical intervention. In particular, handholding is a simple, economical and appropriate way to help patient in the operating theatre.

Keywords: anaesthesia; anxiety; information; local; therapeutic touch; vertebroplasty.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Local
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Hand*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Operating Rooms
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Touch*
  • Vertebroplasty / adverse effects
  • Vertebroplasty / psychology*