Background: This study assessed the relationship between patient coping style, precolonoscopy information, and anxiety and pain associated with colonoscopy.
Methods: Eighty consecutive adult patients undergoing initial colonoscopy were classified into two groups on the basis of coping style: information seekers or information avoiders. All were given standardized information about colonoscopy. Half of each group was randomly assigned to receive additional sensory information describing what they could expect to feel. Self-report, physiologic, and behavioral indices of anxiety and pain were measured.
Results: Patients given information congruent with coping style experienced significantly less self-report anxiety immediately after the information intervention and spent less time in recovery. In contrast, patients given information not congruent with coping style maintained their pre-intervention anxiety level. Patients given information congruent with coping style scored lower on behavioral indices of pain, but there were no differences with respect to patient perception of pain or the dosage of sedative drugs. Most patients reported that the bowel preparation was the most distressing part of the colonoscopy.
Conclusions: Assessment of coping style and provision of congruent information reduces anxiety, recovery time, and observed behavioral indices of pain of colonoscopy but has no effect on sedation dose or patient perception of pain.