Patients and their Families undergoing Strabismus Surgery. The aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire to identify perioperative fear and anxiety factors affecting pediatric strabismus surgery patients.
First, we reviewed the literature to determine precipitants of fears and anxieties experienced by pediatric patients. Subsequently, we developed a questionnaire for pediatric patients undergoing strabismus surgery. This was a two part questionnaire, consisting of a 16-piece section for patients and a 22-piece section for parents. Finally, we piloted this questionnaire to validate its clinical use.
Common anxiety factors for children include pain, minor clinical procedures requiring needles, separation from parents and engaging with medical professionals. We used this information to develop a two part questionnaire for patients and parents. The questionnaire elicited positive and negative aspects of the patient journey, corroborated fears reported in the literature, and identified anxiety inducing factors specific to strabismus patients.
There is a lack of evidence regarding fear and anxiety specific to pediatric ophthalmology surgeries. Strabismus surgery carries unique fear inducing factors. Interventions which may alleviate the stress of pediatric surgery, therefore greatly benefit patient experience and surgical outcomes, and should be considered in the care of pediatric patients. Patient educational material is known to provide a sense of control to patients, helping to alleviate such fear.
Evidenced by the literature and the pilot questionnaire, there still exists anxiety inducing factors in pediatric surgery. Investigation into patient fears regarding pediatric strabismus surgery is needed to better understand how clinical staff can support patients perioperatively.
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