Anaesthesia information--what patients want to know

Anaesth Intensive Care. 1996 Oct;24(5):594-8. doi: 10.1177/0310057X9602400516.


We developed and introduced into clinical practice a leaflet to improve the delivery of information to patients before obtaining their consent to anaesthesia. The amount of information needs to be what a "reasonable" patient thinks appropriate; therefore we tested patients' responses to three levels of information: "full" disclosure, "standard" disclosure (as contained in our leaflet) and "minimal" disclosure. Forty-five patients scheduled to undergo cardiac surgery were enrolled in the study. None of the information sheets caused a significant change in state anxiety score and only the "full" disclosure significantly increased knowledge about anaesthesia (P = 0.016). All leaflets were easy to understand. When only one leaflet was provided 64-73% of patients thought the content was "just right", whereas when all three leaflets were viewed together, 63% of patients thought the "minimal" leaflet withheld too much information.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anesthesia, General* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, General* / methods
  • Anesthesia, General* / psychology
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Communication
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Pamphlets
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors
  • Truth Disclosure