Measuring anxiety in surgical patients using a visual analogue scale
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Measuring anxiety in surgical patients using a visual analogue scale

Michael Pritchard Advanced nurse practitioner, Surgery and orthopaedics, Clatterbridge Hospital, Merseyside

Since the early days of surgery patients have been anxious about undergoing operations. This feeling remains common today despite advances in medicine and surgical techniques. Numerous studies have shown the effect anxiety has on the human body. It is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to ensure that any patient undergoing an elective surgical procedure is both physically and psychologically prepared. However, with increasing demands on the health service to be more efficient, little time is set aside to meet the psychological needs of the surgical patient. This article focuses on the use of a visual analogue scale to identify pre-operative anxiety in patients, so that healthcare practitioners can implement strategies to reduce anxiety and improve the person’s overall experience.

Nursing Standard. 25, 11,40-44. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.11.25.11.40.c8104

Correspondence

Michael.pritchard@whnt.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review